Canada: Housing starts rise, beating expectations on milder-than-normal weather in January
February 10, 2020
Housing starts increased to 213,224 units on a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) basis in January, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), up from December’s revised 195,892-unit reading (previously reported: 197,329), and above analysts’ expectations of 205,000 units. January’s rise was driven by a sharp pick-up in multiple urban starts. That being said, abnormally-mild weather in central Canada flattered the headline print in January.
Meanwhile, the six-month average of housing starts on a SAAR basis fell to 210,195 units in January from 212,212 units in December.
Going forward, rapid population growth, favorable borrowing costs and government measures supporting first-time home buyers should continue to drive housing starts.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist