Housing starts stable as 2018 began

There was little change in housing starts in January with the 6-month trend at 224,865 compared to 226,346 in December.

"The national trend in housing starts held steady for a third consecutive month in January, remaining near the 10-year high set in December," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "This reflects higher starts of multi-unit dwellings in urban centres in recent months, which has offset lower starts of single-detached homes."

CMHC data reveals that Vancouver’s starts almost doubled the level of a year earlier with the North Shore particularly hot due to condo and multi-family developments getting underway.

Toronto’s starts continued to trend lower for the second consecutive month. Multi-family starts were higher, helping to offset lower numbers of single-family homes which have seen weaker demand due to more supply in the resale market.

Among the other highlights were gains for Kelowna, Lethbridge, Gatineau, Barrie and Guelph. The latter saw the highest number of apartment starts for any January since 1991.

Starts continued their downward trend in Kingston and Edmonton.

The standalone seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 216,210 units in January, essentially unchanged from 216,275 units in December.

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