The pace of house building slowed in July according to new figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. New house starts dropped from an annualized 202,338 in June to 193,032. Analysts had been expecting 195,000. The 6-month trend was 185,586 in July up from 184,035 in June.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of urban starts decreased by 5.9 per cent in July to 176,998 units. Multi-unit urban starts decreased by 8.2 per cent to 119,478 units in July and the single-detached urban starts segment decreased slightly, by 0.8 per cent to 57,520 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,034 units.

“Housing starts in Canada have been trending higher over the past three months, with gains in multiple starts offsetting declines in single starts,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “The decline in single starts is in line with CMHC’s expectations of buyers shifting demand away from higher priced new single-detached homes towards lower-priced alternatives. Gains in multiple starts are largely due to higher rental apartment starts, a substantial portion of which are seniors’ residences.”

The SAAR declined in Ontario, the Prairies, Atlantic Canada and Québec, while it increased in British Columbia.

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