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  • Writer's pictureJose Gustavo Salcedo

February Housing Starts in Canada Surge by 14%: CMHC Report

February Housing Starts in Canada Surge by 14%: CMHC Report

In exciting news for the housing sector, February witnessed a notable uptick in home construction across Canada. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) recently announced that housing starts surged by 14% to reach 253,468 units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis. This increase represents a positive momentum for the industry, albeit amidst ongoing challenges.

The rise in construction activity was predominantly driven by a surge in multi-unit developments, including apartments and condos. In contrast, single-detached starts experienced a decline of 14%. Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist, highlighted the evolving focus of developers towards multi-unit constructions, particularly in major urban centers where housing shortages persist.

It's important to note that month-to-month variations in housing starts can be substantial, influenced by factors like the initiation of large-scale projects. Adjusted starts for February demonstrated a significant increase in Vancouver by 79%, while Montreal experienced a decline of 31%.

To provide a more comprehensive understanding of housing trends, CMHC also offers a six-month moving average of the adjusted rate. This indicator revealed a slight uptick to 245,665 starts, up by 0.4% from January. However, this pace falls short of the pre-recession levels seen in late 2022, indicating the lingering impact of rising interest rates and labor shortages on the industry.

Analysts anticipate a slowdown in housing starts for the first quarter of this year, attributing it to challenging borrowing conditions and labor shortages. TD economist Rishi Sondhi predicts a decrease in starts compared to the fourth quarter of the previous year, reflecting the broader weakness in home sales filtering into construction activities.

Despite these challenges, factors such as favorable weather conditions and expectations for future rate cuts are providing some support to the housing market. CIBC analyst Katherine Judge suggests that the mild winter weather may have contributed to the February uptick, along with the anticipation of rate cuts stimulating resale activity.

While the overall outlook for homebuilding remains modest, the increase in resale activity is expected to mitigate the impact on GDP growth from the slowdown in construction. As we progress through the year, industry stakeholders will closely monitor market dynamics and policy changes to navigate through these challenging times.

In conclusion, February's housing starts report offers a mixed picture for the Canadian housing market, highlighting both opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Stay tuned for further updates as we continue to track the evolving landscape of the housing sector.

Source From: Wealth Professional
Adapted by Jose Gustavo


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