Housing start numbers renew optimism

by Justin da Rosa09 Dec 2015
Agents will have plenty of supply to work with in the coming year, according to recently released statistics from a major bank.

“Canadian new home construction continues to build steam,” Diana Petramala, economist with TD Bank, writes in the bank’s most recently released economic note. “Monthly housing starts rose to 211,916 units last month, up from 197,712 in October, with the 6-month moving average reaching 208,401 units in November.”

Agents may want to set their sets on the multi-unit sector next year, as it continues to lead the way in terms of construction starts, rising 13.2% last month.

It now accounts for 70% of new home construction within Canadian urban centres.

And while players in Ontario are set to benefit from an influx of available properties for sale – with the province recording an uptick of 16.5% in new construction – so too are those in the Prairies, which experienced its own increase (32.6%).

That will certainly be welcome news to those Realtors, especially considering how much sagging oil prices have impacted that region.

Still, Prairie-based agents may be in for a tough year, despite the increase in inventory.

“Deteriorating economic conditions are more of a concern in the Prairie Region where the unemployment rate has spiked in recent months,” Petramala writes. “Housing activity is likely to weaken further along with the sharp rise in unemployment.”

For their part, British Columbia and Quebec saw fewer starts last month, with their figures dropping to by 23.7% and 8.3%, respectively.

“New home construction has bounced back in the second half of 2015 from what had been a multi-year cooling off in new home construction between 2013 and 2014,” Petramala writes. “Looking forward, relatively tight housing market conditions in Ontario and B.C. may continue to encourage a relatively lofty pace of new home construction at least through the first half of 2016.”

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