Canada Housing July 2018


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.

In its annual Housing Market Outlook, released last October, the CMHC projected housing starts would range between 192,200–203,000 units this year and between 192,300–203,800 units in 2019. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect 211,000 housing starts in 2018. For 2019, the panel sees housing starts moderating to 195,000 units.


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Canada Housing Chart

Canada Housing Starts July 2018

Note: Monthly housing starts and six-month trend in monthly housing starts, both at seasonally-adjusted annualized rate.
Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

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