Housing starts ticked higher last month says CMHC

Following a weaker month for housing starts in September, the 6-month trend was higher in October.

CMHC said Wednesday that the trend of 216,770 units was up from the 215,153 in the previous month. The standalone figure for October was 222,771, up from September’s 219,293.

The seasonally-adjusted annual rate of urban starts was up 2.5% to 205,935 with rural starts at 16,836 units.

The gain for urban starts was driven by multifamily, which gained 12.5% to 149,593 units while single-family home starts were down 17.1% to 56,342 units.

“The trend in housing starts essentially held steady in October following a decrease in September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. ”Nevertheless, new home construction remains very strong in 2017, as the seasonally adjusted number of starts has been above 200,000 units in nine of ten months so far this year.”

Among the major markets:

Toronto – decrease in housing starts trend
Vancouver – trending higher with monthly SAAR at 12-month high
Calgary – trend was lower but up 24% year-over-year
Montreal – highest level ever for October starts in the area (almost 3,500)
Ottawa – low-rise starts offset decline in apartments

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