The Toronto skyline in Canada

Canada Housing May 2018

Canada: Housing starts dip below 200,000-mark in May for the first time in a year

Housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted annualized (SAAR) basis plummeted to 195,600 units in May, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Declining from April’s 216,800 units, May’s reading ended an eleven-month streak of housing starts above the symbolic 200,000-unit threshold. Furthermore, May’s surprising outturn came in well below analysts’ expectations of a narrow rise to 218,000 units.

May’s reading reflected a sharp contraction in multi-unit urban starts as new mortgage-lending rules continued to chill the once-hot market. A breakdown by city showed that Toronto recorded a steep drop in multi-unit groundbreaking, as did Montreal. On the other hand, Vancouver posted robust gains in the month. Overall, the decline in May brought multi-unit urban starts closer to their long-run average following several months of elevated readings. Highlighting the sensitivity of multi-unit urban groundbreaking to the newly-implemented guidelines, single-detached starts recorded a modest rise in May.

Meanwhile, the six-month moving average of housing starts (SAAR) ticked lower in May from the near-decade records set earlier this year, easing from 225,500 units to 216,400 units.

A separate report, released by Statistics Canada, showed that the value of Canadian building permits fell sharply in April—the most recent month for which data is available. April’s 4.6% fall in building permits from March was due to weakness in both the residential and non-residential sectors, particularly in Ontario.

Free sample report

Access essential information in the shortest time possible. FocusEconomics provide hundreds of consensus forecast reports from the most reputable economic research authorities in the world.
Close Left Media Arrows Left Media Circles Right Media Arrows Right Media Circles Arrow Quote Wave Address Email Telephone Man in front of screen with line chart Document with bar chart and magnifying glass Application window with bar chart Target with arrow Line Chart Stopwatch Globe with arrows Document with bar chart in front of screen Bar chart with magnifying glass and dollar sign Lightbulb Document with bookmark Laptop with download icon Calendar Icon Nav Menu Arrow Arrow Right Long Icon Arrow Right Icon Chevron Right Icon Chevron Left Icon Briefcase Icon Linkedin In Icon Full Linkedin Icon Filter Facebook Linkedin Twitter Pinterest