The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its housing starts figures for June 2017, announcing national starts increased. Canadian housing starts trended at 215,459 units in June, compared to 214,570 in May. The trend is a six month moving average of seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).
“The trend in housing starts for Canada reached its highest level in almost five years,” says Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “So far this year, all regions are on pace to surpass construction levels from 2016 except for British Columbia, where starts have declined year-to-date after reaching near-record levels last summer.”
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts was 212,695 units, up from the 194,955 in May. The SAAR of urban starts went up 9.6% to 194,773 units, with multiple urban starts increasing 9.4% to 127,944 and single urban starts up 10.1% to 66,829. Rural starts are estimated at 17,922 units.
Housing starts in Toronto remained mostly unchanged from May to June. There was a small drop in single starts, but it was offset by a gain in multiple starts. Looking back to the beginning of the year, low-rise starts have actually been gaining momentum, reaching a five-year high. Though the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has reported an increase in listings, CMHC believes that the lack of supply in the resale market is still pushing more buyers into the preconstruction market.
Outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Barrie is seeing a lot of action. Single and row housing starts are picking up, so June marks the second consecutive month of increases. The demand for new homes in Barrie CMA have caused a lot of homebuyers to shift their attention to Innisfil, where there is land and room to grow. The city of Barrie is now lacking developable land.
Within the GTA, Oshawa stands out because of its record level of seasonally adjusted starts. The pace of construction has increased nearly three times the average of the last three years. Every housing type has increased in starts, but row and apartments lead the way. CMHC says that Oshawa has become an affordable option for buyers in Toronto CMA.
We’re happy to hear that construction of new housing in the GTA is strong, since we recently learned how much the residential construction industry supports our economy.