Rentals share as housing starts increase
July 16, 2019
Canadian housing starts beat expectations in June, spiking to a seasonally adjusted pace of 245,657 units—up from 196,890 a month earlier, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., and above analyst expectations of 210,000 starts. Urban starts, which included a rise in rental apartment construction, dominated the action, accounting for 243,238 starts—up 26 per cent from May 2019.
The annualized pace of multiple-unit projects increased by 31 per cent to 185,804 units in June, while the pace of single-detached urban starts rose 8 per cent to 48,434 units.
What follows are Home BUILDER highlights from selected cities at the mid-year point of what has so far been a volatile 2019 for the residential construction industry.
Halifax: Total housing starts continue to gain momentum in June, expanding by 45 per cent year-over-year. The number of apartment units that broke ground reached the highest peak since 2015, as multi-unit starts year-to-date climbed by 62 per cent compared to the first six months of 2018.
Quebec: Approximately 2,600 home starts were seen in Quebec’s second-largest city—similar to June 2018—with rental apartment housing accounting for two-thirds of the construction. Many of the units were targeted at the seniors’ housing sector.
Toronto: It was steady as it goes in Canada’s largest housing market. Total housing starts in the Greater Toronto area were virtually unchanged in June from May 2019 with row and semi-detached home starts trending slightly lower, while apartment and single-detached houses trended slightly higher.
Kingston: Following a strong performance in 2018, actual total starts in the Kingston metro area during the first half of 2019 were down 14 per cent from a year earlier. The decline was most pronounced in multi-family housing. In response to the persistently low vacancy rates, all Kingston apartment starts through to June were rental units.
Winnipeg: For the first half of 2019, total Winnipeg metro housing starts trended 15 per cent higher compared to the first half of 2018, driven mainly by apartment starts. The 89 per cent increase in apartment starts for the first half of 2019 supports the growing demand for rental accommodation. Single-detached, semi-detached and row starts trended lower in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
Edmonton: Housing starts trended higher in June, with single-detached starts declining slightly while multi-units starts doubled compared to June 2018. With a high level of unsold inventory, the year-to-date condo starts saw a decline compared to the same period in 2018.