Canada Housing March 2016


Housing starts in March ease from February's five month high

Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 204,600 units in March, according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The figure marked a 6.7% decrease over February’s revised 219,400 units (previously reported: +212,600 units) and substantially overshot market expectations of an increase of 190,000 units. March’s decrease contrasts February’s 25.3% increase.

The six-month moving average fell by 2.4% over the previous month, from February’s revised 201.700 (previously reported: +199,100 units) to 196.900 in March. The CMHC commented that, “overall, starts were trending lower in March due to a slowdown in multi-unit construction. This was the case across the country, except in British Columbia where declining inventories of new and unsold units as well as low levels of new listings in the resale market spurred builders to start new projects.”

According to its Q4 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will record 178,150 units in 2016 and 173,650 units in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 185,447 housing starts in 2016. For 2017, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 176,958 units.

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts March 2016

Note: Monthly housing starts at seasonally-adjusted annualized rate.
Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

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