Housing starts snap downward trend

by Steve Randall on 11 Dec 2018

There was an improvement in the 6-month moving average of Canadian housing starts last month.

Figures from CMHC show a seasonally adjusted annual rate of units of 210,038, up from 204,460 in the previous month and ending four months of declines.

"The national trend in housing starts increased in November, following four consecutive months of decline," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "While single-detached starts continued to trend lower in November, this was more than offset by a gain in the trend of multi-unit starts following several months of weakness."

The rise in condo apartments was highly evident in Toronto where the sector drove the housing starts trend to its highest level so far in 2018.

Meanwhile, year-to-date total housing starts in the Vancouver CMA have decreased 9% compared to the same period in 2017.

There were gains overall in Calgary, Kelowna, Winnipeg, Windsor, and PEI; while starts were lower in Quebec and Hamilton.

Total housing starts trended higher in the Oshawa CMA which saw the most starts for the month of November in almost three decades, driven by strong multi-unit starts, particularly in the City of Oshawa, offset the decline in the single-detached starts trend.

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