New figures show significant a drop in new construction in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with some of the drop likely related to COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)

New housing starts drop almost 80 per cent in Greater Victoria in March

All other CMAs in B.C. except for Vancouver also recorded significant drops

New data released this month shows a significant drop in new construction in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with some of the drop likely related to COVID-19.

A report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shows new housing starts dropped 79.3 per cent from February to March. Abbotsford-Mission (down 75.6 per cent) and Kelowna (down 61.3 per cent) also saw significant reductions in March 2020 compared to February 2020.

Across CMAs in British Columbia, only Vancouver (up 3.4 per cent) saw higher housing starts in March.

RELATED: Unemployment in Greater Victoria rose to 4.6 per cent in March

Across British Columbia, housing starts in urban areas (with population of at least 10,000) in British Columbia dropped 5.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in March compared to February.

Across Canada, urban housing starts across Canada went down 7.3 per cent in March, with decreases in seven provinces.

“The national trend in housing starts declined in March, likely indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to impact residential construction activity.” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist in an accompanying report.


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