Canadian housing construction trends slower in December but demand healthy: CMHC

OTTAWA – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of housing construction slowed last month, but demand continued to be healthy.

The annualized equivalent of 189,672 units were started in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 197,797 in November.

Housing starts in urban areas decreased by 5.1 per cent to 168,214 units in December, accounting for most of the month’s total.

CMHC says the Prairie provinces, Atlantic Canada and Ontario reported declines in urban starts while there were increases in B.C. and Quebec.

Multiple-dwelling projects such as condos, apartments and townhouses accounted for 108,910 of Canadian urban starts in December, a decline of 4.1 per cent.

Detached urban starts fell 6.7 per cent to 59,304 units.

“The trend in housing starts has remained essentially stable since October 2013. Housing demand continues to be healthy in Canada,” said CMHC’s manager of housing analysis, Bruno Duhamel.

“The trend in existing home sales has been increasing since April 2013, while the trend in inventories of newly completed and unabsorbed homes has been declining at a modest pace since September 2013.”