Housing starts, building permits decline

With supply issues pressuring prices in many housing markets, the number of new homes being built has declined according to two new data releases.

The trend measure of housing starts declined from 194,950 in April to 191,000 in May according to CMHC, in line with the agency’s expectations.

“Housing starts slowed in May, and are now on pace to reach 191,000 units in Canada — falling within the upper range of our housing market outlook forecast for the year,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “The decline we see in the trend is led by fewer multiple starts in urban areas, particularly in larger centres like Toronto.”

The monthly seasonally-adjusted figures for new starts in May was down to 188,570 units; in April it was 191,388. The decline was led by BC and the Prairies although there were increases for Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

Meanwhile, the number of building permits issued dipped 0.8 per cent in April as a decline in intentions to build multi-family dwellings (down 6.2 per cent to $1.9 billion) almost wiped out an increase for single-family homes (up 1.8 per cent to $2.5 billion).

Statistics Canada’s data shows that Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia led the declines.
Permits issued totalled $6.9 billion with the residential sector down 1.8 per cent to $4.3 billion while non-residential permits were up 2.5 per cent to $2.5 billion. Alberta led the gains for the non-residential sector.

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