Housing starts slowed January, with multi-family developers – especially those in Atlantic Canada and Quebec -- responsible for applying the brakes.

"The multiple starts segment accounted for most of the reduction in those two regions," said Mathieu Laberge, an economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "The slight decrease posted in January was attributable to a decrease in Quebec and in Atlantic Canada."

Overall, the housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual start rate fall to 197,900 units in January, down from 199,900 in December.

Much of the difference is owing to what`s happening in Canada`s urban centres.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 2.8% in January reaching 176,600 units.

Drilling down, urban starts decreased by 35.4 per cent in Atlantic Canada and by 34.4 per cent in Quebec on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Those numbers suggest that builders have started to claw back their development ambitions in consideration of economic uncertainty both here and abroad.
That should help to quiet broker concerns thata glut of inventory in key markets would lead to a major correction and a slowdown in originations.

Toronto, in particular, -- with its condo development still in full-swing -- has started to unnerve many worried a correction is imminent.

Not necessarily so, said one Realtor specializing in real estate investment. At least not yet.
“We just haven’t seen an slowing down in the condo market in terms of sales,” Adam Brind, with Remax Condos - Core Assets Team.


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