Canada Housing February 2016


Canada: Housing starts see strong recovery in February

March 8, 2016

Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 212,600 units in February, according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This was the highest number of starts registered in five months. The figure marked an astounding 28.8% increase over January’s revised 165,100 units (previously reported: +165,900 units) and substantially overshot market expectations of an increase of 180,000 units. February’s increase contrasts January’s 4.5% decline.

The six-month moving average fell by 0.1% over the previous month, from January’s revised 199,100 (previously reported: +199,200 units) to 198,900 in February. The CMHC commented that, “the national housing starts trend held steady in February, despite some important regional variances. (…) Housing starts are trending at a 4-year low in the Prairies where low oil prices have weakened consumer confidence. At the same time, starts are trending at an 8-year high in British Columbia, as new and resale home inventories remain low”.

According to its Q4 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will record 178,150 units in 2016 and 173,650 units in 2017. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 188,431 housing starts in 2016. For 2017, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 176,125 units.

Author:, Economist

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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts February 2016

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

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