Compared to the slight downturn this past October, Canadian housing starts have improved.
The trend in housing starts was 219,047 units in November 2019, compared to 218,253 units in Oct. 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Figuring out the trend means comparing it to a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 201,318 units in November, a slight increase from 200,674 units in October. Multiple urban starts increased by 2.3% to 141,753 units in November while single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.1% to 46,806 units.
Part of November's increase is due to multiunit developers, who have become key to solving Canadian cities’ affordability crisis. Though the increase was minor - at 0.3 per cent - groundbreaking on multiple unit urban homes accounted for the increase compared with October.
"The national trend in housing starts was essentially unchanged in November, reflecting slight increases in the national trends of both multi-family and single-detached starts" said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist.
"Vancouver saw a significant decline in the trend of multi-unit starts for a second consecutive month in November, following a period of elevated construction activity earlier in the year. However, this decline was offset by modest gains in the multi-unit trend in most other major markets, including Toronto."
The increased housing start trend, however, fell more in line with what economists from Refinity Capital had predicted for the month.
The monthly variance in housing starts reflects little more than mild fluctuations in a greater scheme of growth. Thanks to low interest rates, which should continue till the end of the fiscal year, CMHC also reported that the national outlook for the housing market looks bright.
Starts are predicted to decline in December, not only because of the holidays, but also because it’s not common to break ground on a major development in the height of winter.
Torontonians can rest assured that all the inconveniences of construction will happen during the summer months.