Housing starts slump but expected to rise

Housing starts declined in July where they were in June but are expected to rise later this year, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts decreased to 132,100 units in July from 137,800 units in June, mostly because of the multiple-units segment that includes condos and apartment buildings. “The slight decline in July’s housing starts is mostly attributable to the volatile multiple starts segment,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Although July registered a decline, housing starts are expected to improve throughout 2009.”


Over the next several years, housing starts will gradually become more closely aligned to demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 5.5 per cent to 113,500 units in July. Urban multiple starts decreased nine per cent to 61,000 units, while urban single starts moved down 1.1 per cent to 52,500 units in July. July’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 16.6 per cent in Quebec. Urban starts declined 17 per cent in the Prairies, 15 per cent in Ontario, 10 per cent in British Columbia, and 1.4 per cent in Atlantic Canada. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,600 units in July.


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