housing starts

Photo: Irina Souiki/Flickr

The Canadian housing market continues to confound expectations as housing starts kept pace in June. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month was 198,185, an uptick from the 196,993 starts recorded in May.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for urban centres in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia fell month-to-month, though the Prairies saw a surge: starts rose from 44,924 in May to 61,740 in June, an increase of 37.4 per cent. Urban starts also inched up in Atlantic Canada, albeit more modestly, rising from 6,273 in May to 6,778 in June 2014.

Last month’s overall rise in starts followed the trend in building activity set in the spring: both May and April saw monthly increases, leading some economists to suggest builders were making up for the time lost to the wickedly long winter. Some went as far as to say the momentum would fade.

The news also comes on the heels of a report from Statistics Canada that pointed to a surge in residential building activity with permits for 17,415 new dwellings recorded in May, an 11.8 per cent increase from April.

Taking the longview, the CMHC suggested Canada’s home building scene would moderate.

“The trend in housing starts has been stable since March 2014, down from the range of 191,000 to 196,000 seen between September 2013 and February 2014. This is in line with CMHC’s analysis indicating that the new home construction market in Canada is headed for a soft landing in 2014,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist, in the news release.

So far in 2014, there have been 80,826 actual housing starts in Canada, a 4.3 per cent rise from the 77,502 counted over the same period last year. As for as the six-month moving trend, housing starts in Canada were trending at 185,939 units in June compared to 184,019 in May.

For more details, check out the chart and graph below:

Housing starts June 2014

Canadian Housing Starts 2014 June

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