Canada: Housing starts moderate again in May
June 8, 2017
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 194,700 units in May, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). May’s figure marked another significant decrease from a month earlier, declining 8.8% from April’s 213,500 units—and falling even further from March’s near-decade high of 251,900 units—while it came in roughly in line with many of last year’s prints. May’s print, which was the lowest in six months, came in below market analysts’ expectations of 205,000 units started.
The six-month moving average in housing starts reached a more than four-year high of 214,600 units in May, a 0.6% increase from the April’s 213,400. Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, commented that, “row and apartment units led the upward move, while construction has slowed for pricier single- and semi-detached houses.” In the overheated Toronto market, a notable increase in the resale market reduced demand for new housing starts in May. Meanwhile, housing starts in the Vancouver market also decelerated as demand for both new condominium and new rental units eased in the month.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist