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

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judge finds Surrey RCMP breached two robbery suspects’ Charter rights

This was in connection with the robbery of the Ritecare Pharmacy in Surrey on Oct. 10, 2017

Representatives from the Delta Firefighters’ Charitable Society and local retailers present cheques for $5,000 to Priscilla Belonio from WINGS - Azure Place and Wayne Connorton from the South Delta Starfish Pack program, proceeds from the society’s “We’re in this Together” t-shirt campaign. (Dave Mason/contributed photo)
Delta firefighters t-shirt campaign raises over $11,000

Funds donated to Azure Place transition house, South Delta Starfish Pack program

Art rendering of Surrey’s Legion Veterans Village. (Submitted photo)
Surrey’s Legion Veteran Village to get 91 affordable housing units, B.C. government says

Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby made the announcement Wednesday

This year’s White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive was the best yet, organizers say. (Contributed photo)
White Rock RCMP children’s clothing drive ‘best ever’

Month-long annual event wrapped up Dec. 1

Firefighters battle a house fire in Fleetwood on Dec. 2, 2020. (Photos: Shane MacKichan)
One man sent to hospital, two people arrested after Surrey fire

‘This was so frightening to see in person,’ witness posts after blaze at 160th Street and 89th Avenue

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

Most Read