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Suburbs take lead in housing starts

March 8, 2021

Housing starts are becoming stronger in suburban markets surrounding major Canadian cities, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.(CMHC) data on January 2021 new home construction.
CMHC reports availability of land and affordable prices are pushing up housing completions outside these city centres.
The number of housing completions has peaked in areas between 20 and 30 kilometres from Toronto and Vancouver's city centres, while Montreal's peak is even further out, at more than 30 km, CMHC noted.
"Like Montreal, Toronto has experienced urban sprawl with a high level of housing development in remote suburbs. However, Toronto has also seen a boom in housing construction in its active core,” according to the report.
Urban sprawl is more limited in Vancouver because the area has a relatively stable level of construction in its urban areas, said CMHC.
CMHC found construction activity was the lowest between 5 and 10 kilometres outside the city centres it studied.
Condos were responsible for the bulk of completions close to the city centre, compared with single-family, semi-detached, row houses and rental units, which dominated in the suburbs.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,551 units in January 2021.
The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 244,963 units in January, up from up from 238,747 units in December 2020.



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