canadian housing starts Photo: Prescott Pym/Flickr

Canadian housing starts are back in line with economists’ expectations in November after a much lower than predicted result in October.

Housing starts in November hit 195,620 annualized units, up from 183,659 in October, according to the latest data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Urban starts increased to 176,343 annualized units in November, thanks to a rebound in multiple urban starts which rose to 112,583 units for the month. Single-detached urban starts declined to 63,760 annualized units in November.

An analysis by BMO economist Robert Kavcic identified the gap between single starts and multi-unit starts for 2014 as the largest since at least 1990, with 2012 as the only year in which the gap was wider.

Breaking the numbers down regionally, BC led the way in growth in urban housing starts while Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada followed. The CMHC measured a decrease in urban housing starts in the Prairie provinces, even in economic juggernaut Alberta.

“While starts are still elevated in the province, the slide in oil prices suggests that we may have seen the highs for new building activity, at least for now,” Kavcic wrote in his analysis.

Kavcic also said that homebuilding in activity remains well-behaved in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada’s other two most-watched markets.

Vancouver starts are holding steady and haven’t shown much movement for roughly three years while Toronto’s starts have slowed in 2014. The year-to-date average for Toronto is 29,000 units, which, according to Kavcic, “would mark the lowest annual total since the recession in 2009.”

Have a look at the preliminary housing starts data from the CMHC below:

CMHC preliminary housing data

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