Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 56,000 units in October, down from 58,412 units in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
The SAAR of total urban housing starts was 50,384 units in October, down from 51,415 units in September. Most Ontario urban centers posted declines in the latest month. For the year ending October, Ontario raw urban starts were five per cent below levels for the same period one year ago.
“Residential construction activity eased in October largely due to declining activity in the high-rise construction sector,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC’s Ontario region economist. “Low rise starts remained stable. The trend in condominium construction activity continues to slow as builders channel demand towards existing inventories and as the backlog of apartment sales that have yet to break ground eases. Nevertheless, improving labour market conditions, tighter resale markets and low interest rates will support Ontario home starts over the next year.”
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.
Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables