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Canadian housing starts trend stable in February

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March 8, 2018

The trend in housing starts ticked slightly higher in February, coming in at 225,276 units. This compares to the 224,572 units that were reported for January 2018, reports 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 has been very stable since November 2017, masking offsetting trends for multi-unit and single-detached dwellings,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. ”Multi-unit starts have trended higher in recent months in most major urban centres while single-detached starts have trended lower.”

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 229,737 units in February, up from 215,260 units in January and the 210,207 units that were reported in February of last year.

On the permits side, Statistics Canada reports that Canadian municipalities issued $8.4 billion in building permits in January. This was a 5.6 per cent rise over December, and a 10.8 per cent increase over January of last year.

Multi-residential, institutional and commercial permits all saw increases, while industrial buildings and single-family dwellings declined. Statistics Canada is attributing the January increase mainly to higher construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in Ontario.