Tiny PEI boasts biggest starts increase
January 15, 2019
Prince Edward Island posted a 156 per cent increase in housing starts during December, with detached house starts up 9 per cent and multi-unit construction 347 per cent higher than a year ago. This was by far the biggest increase in the country as national housing starts trended lower.
The seasonally adjusted housing start trend to end 2018 was 206,981 units, down from 212,238 in November—the fifth straight month of declining starts according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
“Reflecting these recent declines, total annual housing starts in 2018 were lower than in 2017, as lower single-detached starts more than offset a slight increase in multi-family starts this year. Nonetheless, total housing starts remain elevated when compared to historical averages,” noted Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.
In comparison with PEI, Metro Vancouver housing starts dropped 11 per cent in December compared to a year earlier.
Greater Toronto saw the most apartment starts ever recorded during 2018 and overall housing starts were up 6 per cent from a year ago. Single-detached starts, however, were the lowest in almost four decades.
CMHC reported that the annual pace of urban starts dropped by 5.8 per cent to 194,594 units in December as the annual rate of multiple-unit projects such as condominiums, apartments and townhouses fell 6.8 per cent to 144,728 units.
The pace of single-detached urban starts fell by 2.5 per cent to 49,866 units.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,825 units.