Housing starts in Canada dropped to 188,956 units in January, compared to 191,627 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
“The trend in total housing starts has been moderating since September 2014, reflecting lower trends in both multiple and single-detached starts,” says Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist.
But “economic and demographic factors remain supportive of housing demand,” he adds. “The moderation in new home construction reflects inventory management by builders and is in line with CMHC’s expectations.”
CMHC uses the housing start trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts as a way to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates. This time around, the standalone monthly SAAR was 187,276 units in January, up from 179,637 units in December.
Meanwhile, the SAAR of urban starts increased to 172,322 in January, up from 161,940 in December. That increase was led by multiple urban starts that increased to 115,008 units in January, while single-detached urban starts decreased to 57,314 units.
A provincial breakdown shows urban housing starts saw relatively large gains in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, while urban housing starts registered a modest gain in Ontario and declines in British Columbia and Quebec.
Click here for preliminary housing starts data from CMHC.