Canada Housing May 2019


Canada: Housing starts fall in May

June 10, 2019

Housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted (SAAR) basis plunged to 202,337 units in May, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). May’s reading was down from a downwardly revised 233,410-unit print in April (previously reported: 235,460), driven by a sharp decline in multiple urban starts which was only marginally offset by an increase in single-detached urban starts. The reading missed analysts’ expectations of 205,000 units.

Meanwhile, the six-month average of housing starts on a SAAR basis retreated to 201,983 in May from 205,717 units in April.

Providing commentary on Canada’s housing starts, Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Economics, noted:

“After April's spry gain, some slippage in homebuilding was to be anticipated in May. However, housing construction has been firm so far in the second quarter, averaging 217.9k units. Alongside indications of a healthy rise in home sales, this strength sets us up for positive growth in second quarter residential investment - its first in over a year.”

In its annual Housing Market Outlook released in October, the CMHC projected housing starts would range between 193,700–204,500 units in 2019 and between 189,300–201,300 units in 2020. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants, meanwhile, expect 198,000 housing starts in 2019, before moderating to 192,000 units in 2020.

Author:, Economist

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts May 2019

Note: Monthly housing starts and six-month trend in monthly housing starts, both at seasonally-adjusted annualized rate.
Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

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