Canada: Housing starts slow to lowest level since July 2009
April 8, 2014
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 156,800 units in March according to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The figure was down 17.7% from February's 190,600 units and was well below market expectations of 192,000 units. In addition, this print represents the lowest level of new housing starts since July 2009. The six-month moving average fell 3.5% over the previous month, decreasing from 191,100 units in February to 184,500 in March. According to the CMHC, “the trend in housing starts declined below 190,000 units for the first time in six months, reflecting a decrease in multiple unit starts. Lower starts activity over the remainder of the year compared to 2013 is anticipated as builders continue to adjust activity in order to manage inventory levels.” According to its Q1 Housing Market Outlook, the CMHC estimates that housing starts will reach 187,300 units in 2014. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 181,265 housing starts in 2014. For 2015, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 174,773 units.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions