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Housing starts on the rise after a sluggish September

11/19/2020 | Posted in Canadian Housing Market by Jessi Sandhu | Back to Main Blog Page

Housing Starts / New Developments

Following a slowing in September, housing starts across Canada increased to 222,734 units in October, according to new figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“Higher single-detached [seasonally adjusted annual rates] starts in October drove the overall trend higher, offsetting a second consecutive decline in monthly multi-family SAAR starts,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC chief economist. “Single-detached starts trended higher in several major centres, including Toronto and Montreal.”

CMHC added that the standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts across Canada stood at 214,875 units in October, which was a monthly increase of 3%.

Urban starts increased by 3.5% to 202,584 units. Multiple urban starts ticked down by 0.2% to 144,796 units, while single-detached urban starts grew by 14.3% to 57,788 units.

The numbers came in the wake of a separate assessment that found a “moderate degree” of vulnerability in the national housing market – largely driven by inventory issues, weaker market fundamentals, and an increase in average overvaluation estimates earlier this year, CMHC said.

“Housing market activity across the country slowed significantly between the first and second quarters of 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC. “However, the sharp pullback in new listings and resulting low levels of inventory maintained some pressure on observed house prices in the local housing markets that were seeing strong activity prior to the crisis.”

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