Housing starts slip back as multi-family units drag

Housing starts were lower in August with CMHC’s 6-month trend measure showing 195,640 units compared to 201,379 in July. However, the agency says that the overall supply remains higher in many areas.

"Housing starts declined in August, as construction of multi-unit dwellings slowed in most regions, led by lower activity in Alberta and Manitoba” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. "However, housing market activity levels remain elevated and this decline in starts is the market's response to increasing levels of supply. Multi-unit inventories are above average in several major markets across the country."

The standalone seasonally-adjusted annual rate of starts was down to 182,703 in August (from 194,663 in July) with urban starts down 6.1 per cent.

Urban multi-family starts were down 7.3 per cent to 111,378 while single-family urban starts were down 3.7 per cent to 56,501. Decline was registered in the Prairies, British Columbia, Ontario, and in Atlantic Canada, but increased in Quebec.
 

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