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”.
Author: Robert Hill, Economist