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

  • OPEC threatens to turn on the taps as WTI briefly touches $72 a barrel

    Economic CBC News
    The price of the North American oil benchmark briefly touched $72 US a barrel late Tuesday despite the OPEC oil cartel publicly mulling boosting supply as soon as next month. The price of West Texas Intermediate, the North American oil benchmark commonly known as WTI, was changing hands as high as $72.83 at one point on Tuesday. Source
  • Tim Hortons falls to 67th in reputation rankings by Reputation Institute

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Tim Hortons has seen its ranking take a hit in another study tracking Canada's most reputable companies. Research firm Reputation Institute says the company has fallen to 67th from 13th place in one of the largest moves down of all 250 companies it analyzed this year, but the brand is still considered to have a "strong reputation. Source
  • CIBC kicks off bank earnings week with 25% profit rise

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC reported better-than-expected results for its second quarter with a nearly 25 per cent increase in net income compared with a year ago. The lender reported a profit attributable to common shareholders of $1.29 billion or $2.89 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30, up from $1.04 billion or $2.59 per diluted share a year ago. Source
  • Notley slams B.C. premier on Trans Mountain pipeline

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta Premier Rachel Notley won't be at today's meeting of the western premiers in Yellowknife, but she made some choice remarks about one of the leaders who will be there. Notley told reporters yesterday that B.C. Source
  • Bulgaria runs into setback in bid for euro membership

    Economic CTV News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev after their talks in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) Source
  • CIBC reports second-quarter net income up nearly 25 per cent from year ago

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported better-than-expected earnings for its second quarter with a nearly 25 per cent increase in net income, year over year, due to strong results at home and south of the border helped by its U.S. Source
  • No suitors emerge for Trans Mountain pipeline project stake as deadline looms

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - With just over a week remaining until the May 31 deadline set for abandoning its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, no suitors have publicly emerged to step into builder Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s shoes. Source
  • Looking for a better work experience, millennials may be saving the franchising model

    Economic CBC News
    Millennials are showing increasing interest in a traditional sector of the economy, as young Canadians buy into franchise brands and create new franchise concepts. Though jobs numbers in Canada are generally improving, many millennials continue to face the prospect of precarious employment. Source
  • They've been accused of killing every other business, but millennials may be saving the franchising model

    Economic CBC News
    Millennials are showing increasing interest in a traditional sector of the economy, as young Canadians buy into franchise brands and create new franchise concepts. Though jobs numbers in Canada are generally improving, many millennials continue to face the prospect of precarious employment. Source
  • Tens of thousands of Las Vegas casino workers vote to strike

    Economic CTV News
    Las Vegas casinos could watch tens of thousands of employees walk off the job for the first time in more than three decades after union members voted to authorize a strike at any time starting June 1, a move that could cripple the city's world-famous resorts. Source