Canada: Trend in housing starts inches higher in August
September 11, 2017
Seasonally-adjusted annualized housing starts registered a notable 223,200 units in August, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). August’s figure marked a third consecutive month of recovery in housing starts after falling sharply in early-Q2, inching up 0.6% from July’s 222,000 units and once again landing above most of last year’s prints. August’s reading surprised market analysts that had expected a modest drop to 216,000 units started.
August’s six-month moving average for housing starts reached a nearly five-year high of 219,400 units, a 1.0% increase from July’s 217,300 units. Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, commented that, “demand for new homes remains strong, consistent with consumer confidence which reached its highest level in ten years.” In the overheated Toronto market, housing starts—particularly high-rise condominium starts—trended higher as positive market sentiment boosted pre-construction sales.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist