Canada Housing August 2016


Canada: Housing starts hit a seven-month low in August

September 8, 2016

Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 182,700 units in August, according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The figure marked a substantial 6.1% decrease over July’s revised 194,700 units (previously reported: +198,400 units) and marked the weakest result in seven months. Markets had expected a stronger reading of 190,000.

The six-month moving average in housing starts was 195,600 in August, which marked a 2.8% decrease over the previous month’s 201,400. The CMHC commented that, "housing starts declined in August, as construction of multi-unit dwellings slowed in most regions, led by lower activity in Alberta and Manitoba. However, housing market activity levels remain elevated and this decline in starts is the market's response to increasing levels of supply. Multi-unit inventories are above average in several major markets across the country."

According to its Q2 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will record between 181,300 and 192,300 units in 2016 and between 172,600 and 183,000 units in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 192,279 housing starts in 2016. For 2017, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 182,833 units.

Author:, Economist

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts August 2016

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

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