Housing starts stable in March
April 18, 2018
Canadian housing starts posted a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 226,842 units in March, up from 225,804 in February, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
“In March, the national trend in housing starts was stable for the fifth consecutive month,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Over this period, multi-unit starts have trended higher in most major urban centres while single-detached starts have trended lower.”
The total number of housing starts in Greater Toronto trended up to reach a seven-month high during March with all of the gain in the condo apartment sector. Starts of detached houses and townhouse declined, however, in the face of high costs and more restrictive financing for buyers.
Metro Vancouver new home starts have soared in the first quarter of the year, with city of Vancouver starts more than twice as high as during the same period in 2017. Total housing starts across the region increased to 6,864 units in the first three months of 2018, up 30 per cent from a year earlier.
In Vancouver, first quarter starts were up 109 per cent to 1,956 homes, including 1,592 apartments or townhouses. Vancouver detached house starts jumped 93 per cent to 364 homes.
In Quebec, housing stats remained stable in both the single-detached home and multi-unit housing sectors. Apartment starts fell in all of the province’s urban centres, except for Quebec City.
March highlights included St. Catherines-Niagara where March total starts, at 165 units, were the highest for any month since 1992. Nearly 75 per cent of starts are multi-family homes.
In Halifax, single-detached starts in the first quarter were up 42 per cent compared to the same period last year. Construction in the typically busy multiples market has slowed over the first quarter, however, down 37 per cent, year-over-year.
The overall pace of Canadian multiple urban starts decreased by 7.3 per cent to 144,578 units in March while single-detached urban starts increased by 9.5 per cent to 63,659 units, CMHC reports.