Houses under construction in Toronto on Friday, June 26, 2015. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts increased in October. The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Houses under construction in Toronto on Friday, June 26, 2015. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts increased in October. The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

CMHC says annual pace of housing starts climbed higher in October

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month

The annual pace of housing starts increased three per cent in October compared with September, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said on Tuesday, although the increase was less than some economists predicted.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September, the national housing agency said. Economists surveyed by financial data firm Refinitiv had on average expected an annual rate of 222,000.

CMHC said that single-detached houses in cities such as Toronto and Montreal contributed to the upswing in overall housing starts.

“Homebuilding seems to be normalizing across most of the country, after a sizzling summer,” BMO economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy in a note to clients, reacting to Tuesday’s data.

“While we could see a softer condo market, rising demand for single-detached homes, supported by low interest rates and teleworkers, will still keep the housing market resilient overall.”

The annual rate of urban starts rose 3.5 per cent in October to 202,584 units. The pace of urban starts of apartments, condos and other types of multiple-unit housing projects edged down 0.2 per cent to 144,796, while urban starts of single-detached homes rose by 14.3 per cent to 57,788. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,291 units.

“For the last decade, highrise construction fuelled housing starts thanks to millennials and international migrants vying for a little slice of the sky,” wrote Thiagamoorthy.

“But now, with immigration flows slowing, and a shift in preference for larger suburban homes, we could see a bit of a slowdown in condo construction.”

Overall, the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 222,734 in October, up from 214,372 in September.

TD economist Rishi Sondhi noted that the Prairies drove October’s increase, with strong gains in Manitoba and Alberta, on top of an increase in Ontario.

CHMC’s data on new home building comes on the heels of Monday’s release of existing home resales from the Canadian Real Estate Association. CREA’s data showed October home resales were down from a record high in September, but still more than 30 per cent above last year’s levels. One reason was that people were seeking out suburban houses with more space as the pandemic required people to stay home.

“Relative to other industries, homebuilding has so far breezed through the pandemic, and October’s healthy print is yet another example,” wrote Sondhi in a note to clients on Tuesday.

“Notably, single-detached starts are beginning to pick up, which suggests that builders may be reacting to the outperformance in detached home sales observed during the pandemic.”

Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press

CoronavirusHousing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Bids for Kids poster
Wolf Creek Youth Foundation online auction gets ‘overwhelming’ response

Santa’s Bids for Kids auction to benefit youth programs in Rimbey, Ponoka

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council asks for a mask bylaw to be brought forward for consideration

The bylaw would require face coverings in all indoor Town-owned and operated facilities

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read