Housing starts up in Canada in April

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The trend in housing starts is up in Canada, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It was 213,768 in April 2017, compared to 210,702 in March 2017. This trend is the six-month moving average of the seasonally adjusted and annualized monthly (DDA) of housing starts.

“Residential construction has increased in Canada: the seasonally adjusted number of starts has surpassed the 200,000 mark for the fifth consecutive month. The increase in the trend is largely due to activity in the British Columbia and Quebec apartments market; It was offset by lower housing starts in Ontario, “said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC.

April Highlights

Apartment building continues to stimulate the Halifax housing market . In the multi-family dwelling segment, more than 400 additional units were started in April, and year-to-date starts increased 169% from the first four months of 2016. Demand is partially fueled By the aging population, as baby boomers looking for smaller housing are increasingly selling their homes and becoming tenants.

Although housing starts were down in Quebec in April, the first four months were up about 30% in the province’s urban centers. This result is mainly attributable to the strong construction of apartments, mainly rental, in the Montreal and Quebec regions. In addition, starts in the single-detached home segment have been sustained to date in 2017, primarily due to tighter resale markets.

Despite the slight decline in April, residential construction in the Gatineau region shows a positive balance for the first four months of the year. Gains were particularly strong in the rental housing segment, where several units for the retirement home market were started. Overall, housing starts are being fueled by higher demand and a decrease in the number of unsold units in the new and resale markets.

In Toronto , the trend in housing starts remained stable in April. The slight increase in the market for low-rise dwellings was offset by a decline in the apartments. Overall, residential construction is accelerating this year as the trend is increasing in the single-family and townhouse markets, where starts in April reached their highest level in nine years. Tight conditions in the resale market continue to spill demand into the new home market.

In April 2017, the number of single-detached homes in London was significantly higher than it was in April 2016 or the 10-year average for that month. The gap between Toronto and London prices has increased dramatically, with new single-detached homes in London being much more attractive for Toronto retirees who wish to sell their homes without necessarily moving into smaller.

In Winnipeg , inventory declines in the new market and balanced conditions in the resale market allow manufacturers to increase production. The real number of units started in April increased year-on-year for a fourth consecutive month, pushing year-to-date starts to their highest level since 1987.

In April, the housing starts trend again picked up in the Kelowna census metropolitan area (CMA) as a result of increased activity in both the single-detached and dwelling segments collective. In particular, a number of large rental apartment complexes are currently under construction in the region as builders continue to take into account the low vacancy rates that have characterized the Kelowna rental market over the past two years.

For the first time in four months, the trend in housing starts was up in Greater Vancouver in April thanks to the multi-family dwelling segment. Builders are responding to demand, as eight out of ten row homes and all apartments have found buyers on completion in the last two months.

Given the large variability in monthly estimates, CMHC takes into account the trend, in addition to seasonally adjusted and annualized monthly data, to obtain a more complete picture of the housing market. In some situations, it may be misleading to only analyze DDAs, as housing starts are fueled mainly by the multi-dwelling segment, where activity may vary significantly from month to month.

In Canada, all regions combined, the seasonally adjusted and annualized monthly figure was 214,098 in April, down from 252,305 recorded in March. In urban centers, this number decreased by 15.3% in April to 199 485. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts declined by 16.7% in the multi-family dwellings segment And 12.1% for single-detached homes to 134,314 and 65,171 respectively.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in rural areas is estimated at 14,613.

Some preliminary data on housing starts , in French or English, are published on the website and the information portal on the housing market for CMHC. Our analysts may also provide additional observations on their respective markets.

As Canada’s housing authority, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and the financial system, assists Canadians in need, and provides research and information to Canadians. Governments, consumers and the housing sector in Canada.

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation