Canada: Housing starts pick up to five-month high
May 8, 2014
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 194,800 units in April according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The figure was up 24.4% from March's 156,600 units and was well above market expectations of 175,000 units. In addition, this print represents the highest level of new housing starts since November of last year.
The six-month moving average fell 0.6% over the previous month, decreasing from 184,600 units in March to 183,500 in April. The CMHC noted that the very moderate decline in the trend in housing starts, “is in line with CMHC's analysis indicating that the new home construction market in Canada is headed for a soft landing in 2014.” Furthermore, the CMHC stated that, “over the remainder of the year, builders are expected to continue to adjust activity, particularly with respect to multiples, in order to manage inventory levels.”
According to its Q1 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will reach 187,300 units in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 180,207 housing starts in 2014. For 2015, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 174,974 units.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions