Canada's Condominium Magazine
Against projections of 215,000 housing starts in Canada, the actual rate for March 2017 landed at 253,720 (seasonally adjusted.) This is considerably up from projected numbers, and significantly up from 214,253 in February, as reported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation CCMHC). Previous years seasonally adjusted annual rates were 197,915 for 2016 and 195,535 for 2015. Some analysts hope the increase in supply will cool the Toronto market.
The numbers are even more striking in the Toronto area, with annual numbers dramatically up from February’s number of 36,389 to March at 53,021. This is welcome news in the face of a shortage of supply, even though the demand is immediate. Ontario comes in at 88,841 starts.
Most Starts in Condominiums
CMHC’s numbers for March show 24,528 starts for “Others” (non Single-Detached homes: largely Condos and townhomes) versus 14,741 for Single-Detached homes. This is significantly up for Condos and Townhomes over February at 21,012 and somewhat down for Single Detached homes (February at 14,741).
In a separate report, CMHC’s Housing Market Assessment (First Quarter), in the Toronto market, reported “Three consecutive quarters of sales-to-new listing ratios being above key thresholds led to continued detection of moderate evidence of overheating.”  The increased supply may help ease the overheating issue.
Residential Construction Should Add Support in 2017
In a research note, Robert Kavcic of BMO Capital Markets wrote: “With an early-year flurry of new activity, it looks like residential construction could add more support to Canadian growth than many are thinking for 2017.”
The strong growth in housing starts follows on news of good job results for March in Canada. Nationally, CMHC’s trend measure, which is a six-month moving average annual rate, shows 211,342 in March as compared to 205,521 in February.
 Preliminary Housing Start Data (64695) Downloadable here>>
 Housing Market Assessment — Canada (68456) Downloadable here>>