Housing starts remain above average despite another slip

By Steve Randall

The six-month moving trend for Canadian housing starts decreased for a fourth consecutive month in October.

CMHC says that the seasonally-adjusted trend of 206,171 units was down from the 207,809 reported in September.

"The national trend in housing starts declined for a fourth consecutive month in October, which leaves the trend at its lowest level since February 2017," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "However, despite declining for several months, the trend remains slightly above its long-run average because it follows historically elevated levels of activity in 2017."

Housing starts trended lower in Vancouver (2018 expected to end slightly lower than 2017), Victoria (down 6% year-to-date compared to 2017), and Calgary (although total YTD is 3% above a year ago).

An increased trend was shown in Toronto (of townhomes and condos, single-family detached lower), Regina (apartment units, other sectors trended lower), and Montreal (slight increase on seniors housing growth).

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 205,925 units in October, up from 189,730 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 8.6% in October to 191,964 units.

Multiple urban starts increased by 16.8% to 145,442 units in October while single-detached urban starts decreased by 10.7% to 46,522 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,961 units.


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