May: A busy month of housing construction for Okanagan

May was a good month for housing starts in the Central Okanagan. Global News/File Photo

Housing analysts say May proved to be a good month for the Okanagan housing market.

Construction activity last month pushed Kelowna’s 2018 totals somewhat closer to 2017’s record pace, while Vernon, which is also seeing robust construction, is ahead of 2017 in its year-to-date stats.

“The trend measure for housing starts in the Kelowna CMA moved upward in May for a second consecutive month following a slower start in the first three months of 2018,” said Taylor Pardy, senior market analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). “Recovery in the pace of housing starts has been largely driven by some large multi-unit projects getting underway in April and May, bringing the pace of housing starts more in line with projections for 2018.”

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There were 319 housing starts in May 2018 in the Central Okanagan, down from 466 housing starts in May 2017. Year to end of May, the region is at 986 housing starts. That compares with 1,644 housing starts in the same period last year.

In Vernon, there 42 housing starts in May 2018, up from 29 in May 2017. Year to date, Vernon is at 177 housing starts, up from 114 housing starts in the comparable period last year.

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According to CMHC, there were 216,362 housing starts nation-wide in May, down slightly from 225,481 units in April.

“In May, the national trend in housing starts declined following several months of stability,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “This reflects a decline in multi-unit urban starts in May that leaves  them close to their 10-year average following several months of historically elevated levels.”

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