Hous­ing starts ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions, hit two-year high

The Province - - NEWS -

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.

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