Canada Montage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) says housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 75,325 units in January, an increase from 73,786 units in December. The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“The Ontario residential construction trend continued to move higher,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario regional economist. “All housing types posted increases in the latest month. The Ontario starts trend has been running above levels supported by household formation rates through the second half of 2015. This points to a moderation in activity from recent levels. Modest job growth, lower levels of in-migration in recent years and a declining backlog of condominium sales awaiting construction should result in lower levels of starts as we move through 2016.”
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.
The SAAR of total urban housing starts remained elevated at 58,602 units in January, up from 51,988 units in December. Despite warmer than normal temperatures in 2016, Ontario urban housing starts were running 13 per cent below levels for the same period one year ago, thanks largely to declining multi-unit starts.