CMHC: Multiple-family developments boost housing starts in Toronto

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Chart showing housing starts by market type
Chart showing housing starts by market type (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

After experiencing a dip over the previous month, the number of housing starts in Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) has picked up in November 2017.

According to housing market information by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC),  the metro area posted 53,851 housing starts in August. A decline followed over the next two months, with 35,311 housing starts recorded in September and 28,023 in October.

Market conditions subsequently improved as demand grew for multi-family dwellings. A spur in construction brought 45,208 housing starts in November.

“Given escalating house prices of single-detached homes, more homebuyers continued to shift demand towards lower priced condominium apartments and townhomes. Higher sales of pre-construction condominium units in the past two years will continue to break ground throughout this year resulting in more condominium apartment starts,” CMHC said in a statement released Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, the number of housing starts completed in the metro area has dropped from the previous year’s record. Only 2,227 completions were recorded in November 2017, compared to 3,197 in November 2016.

Overall, CMHC noted a nationwide increase in housing starts. A total of 226,270 units began construction in November 2017, up from 216,642 units in October. This is the metro area’s second consecutive increase in multiple starts and is the highest level reached in almost a decade.

“This largely reflects construction of multiple units in Toronto, where evidence of overbuilding is low due to the decreasing inventory of completed and unabsorbed multiple units and strong demand,” CHMC chief economist Bob Dugan said.

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