Housing starts climbing again
Dana Flavelle – Toronto Star
Housing starts in the Toronto area bounced back in August, suggesting the market has bottomed out, according to a report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Combined with rising national data, the numbers confirm expectations that new residential construction will increase in the second half of the year, Bob Dugan, the national housing agency’s chief economist, said yesterday.
Toronto starts came in at a seasonally adjusted and annualized 23,700 units last month, up 19.7% compared with July.
“After regaining some lost ground last month, it appears that a bottom has formed for housing starts in Toronto,” said Shaun Hildebrand, CMHC’s senior market analyst for the Greater Toronto Area.
Multiple-family dwellings accounted for most of the gains, up 35.1% to 17,700 units.
Comment: Which means new Toronto condos are being built, more and more!
Single detached units fell 10.4% to 6,000.
Seasonally adjusted annual rates reflect the rate at which units would be built if the number of starts in August were multiplied by 12 months.
It’s considered an indicator of future growth rates.
The actual number of starts remains below year-ago levels, at 15,403 units for the 12 months to the end of August, down 44.5% from the year-earlier period.
A start is registered when a concrete foundation is poured.
Ontario was in the middle of the pack, with starts at 42,000 units in August, up 13.8% from July. Again, multiple family units outperformed, rising 28.4% to 24,900 units, while single detached homes declined 2.3% to 17,100.
“It looks like the numbers are bottoming out here and we do expect to see housing starts strengthen in the months ahead,” regional economist Ted Tsiakopoulos said.
He cited a variety of factors.
“Buoyant resale markets in recent months, improving credit and labour market conditions and steadily declining new home inventories were all factors that will boost new home construction activity closer to trend levels in the next few quarters,” Tsiakopoulos said in an interview.
Nationally, housing starts rose 12.4% to 150,400 units.
Urban starts rose by 14% to 131,800 units in August, with multiple starts up 23.8% to 77,600 units and single starts up 2.5% to 54,200 units.
Starts rose the most in British Columbia, up 56%, followed by the Prairies at 16.1%, Ontario at 13.8%, Atlantic Canada at 9.6% and Quebec at 2.5%.