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Canada: Housing starts plummet in February

March 9, 2015

Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 156,300 units in February, according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The figure marked a 16.4% decrease over January’s 187,000 units and notably undershot market expectations of 179,000 units. The drop marked the sharpest decrease since March of last year and was driven largely by a drop in multiple urban starts.

The six-month moving average fell by 3.5% over the previous month, from January’s 188,800 average to 182,100 in February, thus reaching the lowest level since June 2013. The CMHC commented that, “[t]he declining trend in multiple starts is helping to gradually erode the inventory of completed and unsold units, which is high compared to historical levels.”

According to its Q4 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will record 189,500 units in 2015 and 187,000 units in 2016. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 159,141 housing starts in 2015. For 2016, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 153,358 units.


Author:, Senior Economist

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Canada Housing Starts February 2015

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


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