Canada: Trend in housing starts at a nearly five-year high in July
August 9, 2017
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered a notable 222,300 units in July, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). July’s figure marked a second consecutive month of recovery in housing starts after falling sharply in early-Q2, increasing 4.4% from June’s 212,900 units and landing above most of last year’s prints. July’s reading blew past market analysts’ expectations of 205,000 units started.
July’s six-month moving average for housing starts reached a nearly five-year high of 217,600 units, a 1.1% increase from June’s 215,200 units. Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, commented that, “British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts. While B.C.’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.” In the overheated Toronto market, housing starts trended lower as apartments and single-detached starts fell.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist