Canadian Housing Starts Trend Lower in October

The trend in housing starts was 218,598 units in October 2019, compared to 223,276 units in September 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The national trend in housing starts decreased in October,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Multi-family starts in urban centres trended lower following four months of consecutive gains, offsetting a modest increase in the trend of urban single-detached starts in October”.

Visit CMHC’s website for the full announcement: CMHC

StatsCan reported Building Permits for September

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 6.5% to $8.3 billion in September, largely due to declines in the residential sector. Gains were reported in four provinces, with the largest increase in Alberta (+7.2% to $1.0 billion). The largest decline was in Quebec (-20.5% to $1.5 billion), mostly due to a drop in the value of permits for multi-family dwellings. 

Residential permits down

The value of residential building permits was down 10.7% to $5.1 billion in September.

The value of permits issued for multi-family dwellings fell 12.1%, with declines in eight provinces, while Nova Scotia and Alberta reported the sole increases. 

The value of permits for single-family dwellings decreased 8.7% nationally. This decline was largely due to a decrease in Ontario (-$196 million), following strong growth in August.

Slight increase in non-residential permits

Commercial permits rose 6.1% in September, largely due to several high-value permits for office buildings in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver. The increase in the value of commercial permits more than offset declines in the value of industrial and institutional permits.

Ontario reaches record quarterly high

Municipalities issued $25.7 billion of permits in the third quarter, down 1.2% from the previous quarter. 

The value of permits was down in four provinces in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. The largest decrease was in British Columbia (-17.0% to $4.7 billion), following strong gains in the second quarter. 

Despite mixed results across the country, Ontario was up 6.1% to a record quarterly value of $10.7 billion, largely due to the value of multi-family permits.

The total value of permits issued in the first three quarters of 2019 was 2.2% (or $1.7 billion) higher than the same period in 2018. Municipalities approved the construction of 176,582 new dwellings (+0.4%). This is consistent with the 0.2% increase in housing starts reported by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for the same period.

Source: Stats. Canada

CREA: National Home Sales up 12.9% in October Compared with Last Year

The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of home sales was up 12.9% nationally in October compared with the same month last year. 

It says sales activity last month was almost the same as for September, but up almost 20% from a six-year low reached in February. Home sales are still about 7% below the heights reached in 2016 and 2017.

CREA says sales activity was mixed across the country as growing sales in Greater Vancouver, the B.C. Fraser Valley, and Ottawa, was offset by a monthly decline in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton-Burlington.

Greater Vancouver’s composite index price was down 6.4%  from a year ago to $994,900, while in the GTA, the index price was up 5.6%  to $814,400. Ottawa recorded the highest price gains of major cities with a 10.25% climb to $436,300.

Nationally, the composite index price was up 1.77% to $633,600 despite declines in parts of B.C. as well as in major cities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The number of new residential home listings was down by 5.8% in October compared with last year, and down 1.8% from September.

Source: Toronto Star