Completed and unabsorbed units hit highs

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In a trend that is not unique to Canada’s hottest housing market, construction and unabsorbed housing units increased across the country in January, according to the latest report released by CMHC.

“The seasonally-adjusted inventory of completed and unabsorbed total housing units saw an increase of 0.6 per cent from 16,676 units in December to 16,780 units in January,” the Crown Corporation states in its Housing Now report, released Friday. “The seasonally-adjusted inventory of completed and unabsorbed row units and apartments registered an increase of 1.81 per cent from 10,022 in December to 10,203 units in January.”

According to CMHC, both multi-unit and single-detached inventories hit higher-than-average marks last January.

“The actual (non-seasonally adjusted) inventory of completed and unabsorbed housing units was 1.7 per cent above year-ago levels. The actual inventory of single and semi-detached units was 5.1 per cent below year-ago levels, while the inventory of row units and apartment units was up 6.3 per cent compared to the level registered 12 months ago,” CMHC states. “While the inventory of single and semi-detached units has decreased for the eleventh consecutive month, the inventory of row units and apartments increased for the first time in fourteen months that is since December 2013.”

Housing starts in urban areas spiked 6.4 per cent to 172,322 units in January, up from 161,940 a month prior.

The news follows a BMO report that stated Toronto had hit a 21-year high for unsold condo units in January.

“Most of the completed units are presold, but the increase still lifted the number of unsold units to a 21-year high (1602),” Sal Guatieri, senior economist for BMO wrote in his latest economic report, released last Tuesday. “This will slow the increase in new condo prices (3.7% y/y in Q4). However, as long as demand remains healthy (last year was the third best on record), prices should hold steady.”
  • Allen on 2015-03-02 9:42:47 PM

    I've heard that they have been building ghost towns in China too rather than increasing unemployment. Construction is a major industry in Canada.

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