Housing starts rise for 7th consecutive month

The six-month trend for housing starts was higher in July, the 7th consecutive month of gains and rising to 217,550 from 215,175 in June.

“British Columbia and Alberta were the main contributors to the higher trend in housing starts, said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “While BC’s construction coincides with near-record low completed and unsold units in the past few months, Alberta’s inventory of new unsold homes is ramping up, highlighting the need for managing inventories.”

The CMHC figures show that housing start were lower in Toronto with apartments and single-family homes mainly responsible while there were strong increases for semi-detached and town homes. This suggests a shift towards more affordable housing types.

Vancouver starts were up slightly, especially in Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam and mostly driven by apartments and townhomes. Homes under construction in the region remain at record highs.

Calgary and Ottawa also saw increased starts and there were strong gains for Gatineau, London (reaching a new record for July) and Nova Scotia.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 222,324 units in July, up from 212,948 units in June.

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