Housing starts up 1.9% in August

By The Canadian Press | September 10, 2019 | Last updated on September 10, 2019
1 min read
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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of new housing starts in August climbed 1.9% compared with July.

The housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 226,639 units in August, up from 222,467 units in July.

Economists on average had expected an annual pace of 215,000, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in Canada increased to 218,998 in August compared with 208,931 in July.

The increase in the result for August came as the pace of urban starts increased 2.0% in August to 213,663 units. Multiple-unit urban starts fell 1.4% to 160,388 units in August while single-detached urban starts increased by 13.6% to 53,275.

In emailed commentary, Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, noted that single-family home starts had their best month in just over a year.

“As a result, while starts in Q3 are running only a bit above Q2 levels, the gains in singles starts should entail some growth in the GDP contribution from home building, given their higher average cost per unit,” Shenfeld wrote.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,976 units.

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