Canada: Housing starts take a breather in July
August 8, 2018
Housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted annualized (SAAR) basis moderated to 206,300 units in July, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). July’s reading followed a mammoth 246,200-unit reading in June, landing above the symbolic 200,000-unit threshold for the thirteenth time in 14 months but just shy of analysts’ expectations. Although the pace of groundbreaking remained high by historical standards, the number of multi-unit urban starts fell in July as the Ontario and Quebec markets pulled back following bustling activity in June.
Meanwhile, the six-month moving average of housing starts (SAAR) eased in July, dipping to 220,000 units from 221,700 a month earlier—still within striking distance of the near-decade records set earlier this year.
A separate report, released by Statistics Canada, also showed that the value of Canadian building permits fell in June—the most recent month for which data is available. Building permits declined by 2.3% from May as residential-sector intentions weakened across the country.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist