Is housing start decline a sign the market is finally slowing down?

Is Canada’s housing market finally slowing down? Some experts think they may be seeing the first indications of the long-awaited slowdown as housing starts fell in October.

According to a report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp., the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts fell to 198,065 last month from September’s 231,304. Forecasters had predicted 200,000 starts in October, according to the Financial Post.

The decline was led by a decrease in multiple-unit properties – typically condominiums – the Post reported. The drop affected all regions of the country except for British Columbia.

Some experts are breathing a sigh of relief at the decline.

“After ramping up in late summer, Canadian homebuilding activity took a bit of a breather in October,” BMO Capital Markets senior economist Benjamin Reitzes wrote in a research note. “While the pullback in starts suggests that housing might be a bit of a drag on GDP growth in Q4, the decline was welcome as it will ease concerns about overbuilding ignited by the big prints in August and September.”

Canada’s two largest markets, Toronto and Vancouver, have seen a prolonged housing boom – but a drop in most other markets has been a drag on the Canadian economy, according to the Financial Post. Economists have warned that a correction is on the way, and a few have warned that the market could crash.

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