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

Wickson Pier in Crescent Beach is closed to the public, as work to replace and repair piles continues. (Susan Richards de Wit photo)
PHOTOS: Repairs to Crescent Beach pier complete

$180,000 Wickson Pier project included pile replacement, says City of Surrey parks manager

Steve ‘Elvis’ Elliott performs for residents of Amica White Rock. Exercise-to-music programs that led to a threat of city fines due to a noise complaint are to resume next week. (Contributed file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Amica White Rock

Peace Portal Seniors Village outbreak declared over

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

The Festival of Lights; Jingle Bell White Rock; and the Lighted Boat Parade all helped light up the White Rock waterfront on Saturday, Dec. 7. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Festival of Lights postponed

While event founder remains optimistic, the future of this year’s display is uncertain

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Brenda Locke trying to breathe life into Surrey’s defunct Public Safety Committee

Surrey councillor’s motion will be up for debate at a future council meeting

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read