Canada Housing March 2019


Canada: Housing starts rebound in March

April 8, 2019

Housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted annualized (SAAR) basis climbed to 192,527 units in March, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). March’s reading was up from a downwardly revised 166,290-unit print in February (previously reported: 173,153), driven by an increase in both multiple and single-detached urban starts. However, the reading fell short of analysts’ expectations of 196,500.

Meanwhile, the six-month moving average of housing starts on a SAAR basis ticked up marginally to 202,279 in March from 202,039 units in February.

Providing a short-term outlook on Canada’s housing starts, Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Economics, noted:

“We expect the pace of homebuilding to pick up slightly in the near-term, buoyed by ultra-strong population growth, low rental vacancy rates in key markets, and past gains in pre-construction sales. Our expectation is consistent with permits, which remain healthy despite the decline in February”.

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 expect 198,300 housing starts in 2019. For 2020, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 191,500 units.

Author:, Economist

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts March 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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