Housing starts remain strong, stable
January 20, 2018
Canadian housing starts totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 226,777 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
“The national trend in housing starts held steady at its highest level since 2008,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Total urban housing starts in 2017 were up 6.2 per cent compared to 2016 due to the rise in apartment construction.”
Highlights from the 2017 year-end report:
- Metro Victoria finished 2017 with historically high housing starts. Multi-family units accounted for the majority of starts, with elevated rental market starts, pushing the total starts to their highest level since 1976.
- Total housing starts in Metro Vancouver in 2017 were lower than 2016 due to constraints in construction labour and equipment.
- Total actual housing starts for 2017 in Calgary were up 25 per cent year-over-year. The Calgary housing market has been recovering from the economic slowdown, while the population continued to increase.
- Belleville home builders started 104 homes in December, the highest number of starts in any given month since February 2009. The total number of housing starts in 2017 was the highest since 1990, driven up by the rise in single-detached and apartment starts.
- At just below 7,500 units, Ottawa total starts in 2017 were at their highest level since 2002. Strong economic and demographic fundamentals boosted the demand in 2017.
- Housing starts in Greater Toronto remained virtually unchanged in 2017. Close to 39,000 homes broke ground, down 0.7 per cent from 2016.
- Residential construction in Québec City was strong in 2017. In all, 6,640 housing starts were recorded, up 39 per cent from 2016.
- Strong immigration over the past few years has fuelled housing demand in the province of Prince Edward Island, primarily in the Charlottetown area. Single-detached starts reached the highest level since 2008. In all, P.E.I. starts were up 70 per cent year-over-year in 2017.