Canada: Housing starts edge lower in December
January 9, 2020
Housing starts decreased to 197,329 units on a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) basis in December, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), down from November’s revised 204,320-unit reading (previously reported: 201,318), and well below analysts’ expectations of 210,200 units. December’s fall was driven by a sharp fall in multiple urban starts, which was only marginally offset by a slight increase in single-detached urban starts.
Meanwhile, the six-month average of housing starts on a SAAR basis fell to 212,160 units in December from 219,921 units in November.
Going forward, solid population growth, lower borrowing costs, increased government measures supporting first-time home buyers, robust wage growth and a tight labor market should continue to drive housing starts.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist