Canada: Trend in housing starts hits near-decade high, driven by groundbreaking in Toronto
December 8, 2017
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered 252,200 units in November, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). November’s figure marked a 13.2% increase in housing starts from October’s revised 222,700 units (previously reported: +222,800 units), marking six consecutive months of housing starts above the symbolic 200,000-unit threshold and a multi-year high. Moreover, November’s reading surprised analysts, who had expected a decline from October to 215,000 units.
November’s six-month moving average of housing starts rose 4.4% from October’s 216,600 units to land at 226,300 units started, a nearly ten-year high. Driving the improvement in November was a second consecutive double-digit rise in nationwide multiple starts—typically condominiums in the major cities. This largely reflected robust multi-unit starts in Toronto, where strong demand and falling inventory could indicate a further acceleration in the months to come. In terms of growth, groundbreaking in November was led by Ontario, which incidentally enacted provincial legislation intended to cool its runaway property market earlier this year.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist