Rate of new home construction across Canada trending stable

by Ephraim Vecina on 13 Feb 2018

Latest data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed that nationwide housing starts remained steady at 224,865 units in January 2018, compared to 226,346 units in December.

The trend measure is a 6-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 216,210 units in January, virtually similar to the 216,275 units in December.

The SAAR of urban starts increased slightly by 0.2% in January to 198,400 units. Multiple urban starts held steady at 134,685 units in January, while single-detached urban starts increased by 0.6% to 63,715 units.

“This reflects higher starts of multi-unit dwellings in urban centres in recent months, which has offset lower starts of single-detached homes,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said.

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In Vancouver, starts for all home types trended up in January (2,599 units), reaching a pace nearly double that of the same month last year (1,334 starts). “The North Shore was a particular hotspot for activity this month as a number of condominium and rental multi-family units got underway,” the report noted.

Meanwhile, Toronto saw housing starts trend lower for the second straight month, with an increase in apartment starts partially making up for the decline in single-detached housing starts. “Increased supply in the resale market has resulted in less demand for new single-detached homes. New condominiums remain in high demand as home buyers flock to relatively lower priced homes, and investors seek to capitalize on low vacancy rates and increasing rents.”

The full report can be accessed via the CMHC’s online portal here.

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