Canada: Housing starts ease in December, but trend remains firm
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts for December came in at 217,000 units, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). December’s reading was down 13.8% compared to November’s revised figure of 251,700 units (previously reported: +252,200 units), marking seven consecutive months of housing starts above the symbolic 200,000-unit threshold, and beating analysts’ expectations of a steeper decline to 211,000 units.
December’s slowdown was driven largely by a drop in the annualized pace of urban starts, especially multi-unit urban starts in Ontario. That said, the six-month moving average of housing starts nationwide was broadly stable from a month earlier at its highest level in almost 10 years, increasing marginally to 226,800 units from 226,200 units in November.