The 6-month trend measure for Canadian housing starts showed little movement in December, with 226,777 units compared to 226,178 a month earlier.

“Despite the variation in activity across the country, the national trend in housing starts held steady at its highest level since 2008,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Apartment starts in urban centres were up 6.2% in 2017 compared to 2016.”

On a standalone basis, December’s monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 216,980 units, down from 251,675 units in November.

Urban starts were down 15.1% (SAAR) with multifamily down 22% and single-family down 4.7%. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,848 units.

Most major markets finished 2017 with increased starts while Toronto saw fewer starts.

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