Canada Housing January 2016


Canada: Housing starts fall further in January

January 5, 2016

Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 165,900 units in January, according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This was the lowest number of starts registered since February 2015. The figure marked a 3.9% decrease over December’s 172,500 units and undershot market expectations of 185,000 units. The decrease however, was less drastic than last month’s 18.5% decline.

The six-month moving average fell by 2.0% over the previous month, from December’s revised 203,300 (previously reported: 208,200 units) to 199,200 in January. The CMHC commented that, “housing starts trended down across the country with the exception of Ontario. The overall decline is mostly attributable to a slowdown in the Prairies where the housing starts trend was at a 4-year low in January. The slowdown in new housing activity coincides with an unemployment rate that is at a 5-year high in Alberta.”

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 188,431 housing starts in 2016. For 2017, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 176,125 units.

Author:, Economist

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts January 2016 3

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

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