Housing starts exceed expectations, hit two-year high
Canadian housing starts hit a twoyear high because of big increases in multi-family dwellings in cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.
Starts in B.C. were up 11 per cent and were up 8.5 per cent in Ontario.
Builders started work on an annualized 245,604 units in July, up 16 per cent from 212,095 a month earlier, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Tuesday in Ottawa. That’s the most since November 2017, and significantly higher than the 205,000 median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. It’s the second strong month of gains for starts, and brings the trend in line with long-run averages, CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a statement. However he cautioned that starts should move “lower in the near-term” as a result of COVID-19’s effect on the economy.
Construction of multiple-unit buildings including apartment buildings and condos drove the increase, with a gain of 17 per cent in July. Single-family starts rose 11 per cent.