Condos, apartments and townhouses fuel pace of housing starts in February

OTTAWA -- The number of homes that started to get built in Canada last month picked up, boosted by a jump in multiple-unit dwellings such as condominiums, apartments and townhouses.

See Full Article

But the housing market in the oilpatch continued to struggle as the rate of housing starts in the Prairies headed lower while other major regions of the country saw increases.

"Of all the Canadian economic indicators where the national tally hides the real story, this one is right up there," BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic said in a note to clients.

"On one end of the spectrum, residential construction activity is in outright recession, while on the other, new construction has flared well above past highs."

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported the seasonally adjusted annual pace for housing starts in February increased to 212,594 units, up from 165,071 in January. Economists had expected an annual pace of 180,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

The increase came as multiple-unit urban starts increased by 46.0 per cent to 138,774 units, while single-detached urban starts increased by 6.1 per cent to 61,457 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,363.

However, the regional figures showed the differences across the country.

The pace of urban housing starts in February increased in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada while decreasing in the Prairies.

CMHC noted that housing starts were trending at a four-year low in the Prairies, where low oil prices have weakened consumer confidence, while starts were trending at an eight-year high in British Columbia.

TD Bank economist Diana Petramala noted that following a weak start to the year, the housing starts have popped back, topping expectations. However, she noted that an unusually warm winter in many parts of the country may be boosting the data.

"Construction normally comes to a near-halt in the winter, but some construction that would have been otherwise delayed until the spring may have gone ahead given the balmy January and February," she said in a research note.

The increase in housing starts came as Statistics Canada reported municipalities issued building permits worth $6.4 billion in January, down 9.8 per cent from December.

The decline was due to a drop in plans for multi-family homes in British Columbia and Ontario and institutional buildings in Quebec and Alberta, Statistics Canada said.

The value of residential building permits fell 12.5 per cent to $4.0 billion in January, while non-residential permits fell 4.8 per cent to $2.4 billion.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Canadian subsidiary of French defence giant gets $5.2 billion contract

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Canadian subsidiary of French defence giant Thales has been awarded a multibillion-dollar contract to service Canada's new fleet of Arctic offshore patrol ships and joint support vessels. The federal government says Thales Canada, in a joint venture with the company's Australian arm, will provide in-service support for the vessels under a contract that could total $5.2 billion over 35 years. Source
  • Manufacturing sales fall in June after 3 straight monthly gains

    Economic CBC News
    An assembly worker Chrysler's Windsor assembly plant is shown. Statistics Canada reported Thursday that manufacturing sales fell in June, after three months in a row of gains. (Reuters) Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell in June, following three consecutive months of gains. Source
  • Train or fire? Bosses grapple with how to handle off-hours transgressions

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- It didn't take long for social media to reveal the identities of some of the participants of a racially charged protest in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. But it wasn't just individuals who were outed by outraged critics -- it was companies, brands and even suspected employers of individual protesters who were suddenly put on notice that the world was watching. Source
  • Why autos are such an important part of NAFTA

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The future of Canada's more than one million automotive jobs has emerged as a critical part of what's at stake at the NAFTA renegotiation table in Washington after the U.S. chief negotiator targeted the sector on the first day of talks Wednesday. Source
  • Where does the CIBC-PC Financial breakup leave consumers?

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC and President's Choice Financial are amicably breaking up a 20-year banking marriage and divvying up the assets — news one financial expert says isn't necessarily a good or bad thing for consumers. In a nutshell, President's Choice Financial will keep the PC Financial MasterCard credit card service and the PC Plus loyalty program, while the two million PC Financial banking customers will move to CIBC's new service called Simplii Financial. Source
  • Good chance of Pacific trade deal being reached: New Zealand lawmaker

    Economic CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand’s trade minister said Thursday he believes there’s an odds-on chance that a group of 11 Pacific nations including Japan and Australia will sign a free-trade deal, despite the U.S. Source
  • Sears Canada executive chairman steps away to make bid for retailer

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl is stepping away from his role to launch a bid for the beleaguered retailer, which is restructuring under court protection from creditors. A memo to staff Wednesday about his departure from the top job said the company’s goal is to create a path to emerge from creditor protection. Source
  • CIBC takes over PC Financial bank accounts, launches Simplii banking brand

    Economic Toronto Sun
    The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is taking over President’s Choice Financial bank accounts with a new online brand as it responds to the continuing trend towards digital banking. The Toronto-based bank said Wednesday it will cut its nearly 20-year relationship with PC Financial-owner Loblaw Companies Ltd. Source
  • Asian shares rise higher after gains on Wall Street

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian shares were mostly higher Thursday in narrow trading, tracking gains overnight on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 index slipped as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index edged 0.1 per cent lower to 19,718.09. Source
  • Toronto's main stock index rises as morning progresses; loonie up

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto stock market crept higher in late-morning trading as its U.S. peers traded in the red. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 8.80 points to 15,091.01, after 90 minutes of trading. Source