Housing starts pace slows
OTTAWA—Housing starts fell for the third-consecutive month in August as developers scaled back the number of new condo and apartment buildings in urban areas, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The monthly seasonally-adjusted rate fell to 180,291 units last month, down from 193,021 in July and 193,797 in June.
The six-month average also dipped to 187,197 units in August from 187,324 in July.
“The trend in total housing starts continued to be relatively stable for a sixth-consecutive month, remaining within a narrow range of roughly 182,000-188,000 units since March,” Mathieu Laberge, CMHC’s deputy chief economist, said in a statement.
“This is in line with our forecasts.”
However, the decline was bigger than others expected. Estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters had forecast the August seasonally-adjusted rate would be 189,500 units.
“Canada’s housing market remains in good shape despite the larger-than-expected decline in August housing starts,” BMO economist Benjamin Reitzes said in a commentary.
“Indeed, through the first eight months of 2013 starts are averaging 183.2k, essentially right on demographic demand,” he noted.
“Building permits have also remained healthy in recent months, hinting at some near-term upside for starts.”