Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Instagram
Daily construction news
Weekly equipment news

Construction News

Tue January 23 2018

Related Information
Related Information
Related Information

News » Canada » Housing starts continue to increase » published 10 Aug 2017

Housing starts continue to increase

July's figures for housing starts show an increase for much of the country.

The trend measure of housing starts was 217,550 units in July, compared to 215,175 units in June 2017, according to Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC). The measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates.

“In July, Canada’s pace in housing construction ramped up for a seventh consecutive month,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts. While BC’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.”

Total housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area trended lower in July. Lower trending apartment and single-detached starts were mainly responsible for the decline. Overall, total housing starts were still trending close to the average level seen so far this year. Strong increases in semi-detached and town home starts pointed to affordability concerns driving demand for less expensive housing types.

Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA) housing starts were up slightly in July due to the construction of more town-homes and apartments getting under way. The largest increases in construction activity occurred in Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam, as the relative affordability of more modestly priced town-homes and apartments supported consumer demand. The number of units under construction in the Vancouver CMA remains near record highs, and developers will be keeping an eye on market conditions as these projects are completed in the coming year.

After a slow start, the trend in new home construction this year has increased in Calgary, moving closer in line with historical averages. Multiple starts in particular have been strong in recent months, including July, despite inventories sitting at near record highs. If the current pace of production does not ease, there is the possibility that inventories will stay elevated for an extended period of time.

July housing starts trended up in Ottawa on the back of strong multiple construction. Multiple starts this year have been driven by the rise in rental apartment starts, which to July reached about 1.5 times their level for 2016 as a whole. Builders are diversifying high-rise product as a substantial number of completed condominium apartment units remain unsold. In addition, an ageing rental stock, and robust rental demand are contributing to increased building activity for rental units.

With construction getting under way on several large rental projects at the same time, housing starts in the Gatineau area were up considerably in July. The rising demand, supported in part by stronger employment, will help residential construction stay on an upward trend over the coming months.

Single-detached starts in both the City of London and London CMA posted the highest levels for the month of July since 2007. The continued elevated number of single-detached starts is driven largely by demand spill-over from the resale market, which has seen a dramatic increase in the sales of homes priced at CA$500,000 and over. Also, the price gap between single-detached homes in London and comparable homes in Toronto has continued to remain wide, making London an attractive destination for buyers from the Greater Toronto Area.

Housing starts in Greater Sudbury trended lower in July, due to a decline in both single detached and multiple starts. The trend dipped for the seventh consecutive month, reflecting declines in full-time employment and a healthy supply in the resale market.

Construction in both the singles and multiples markets in Halifax continues to show strength in July with year-over-year starts increasing by 15% and 31%, respectively. Year-to-date, the singles market has witnessed the strongest number of starts since 2013, while the multiples market continues to be a driver of residential construction, especially on the Halifax Peninsula and Mainland North regions.

 

Download our free construction news iPhone / iPad app. Sign up to our FREE email newsletters or subscribe to our RSS feed for regular updates on the latest Construction News, Equipment News, Contract News & Supplier News. The Construction Index also provides the latest Construction Tenders, Construction Market Data & Construction Law Commentary all FREE.

This article was published on 10 Aug 2017 (last updated on 10 Aug 2017).

More News Channels