Condo construction cools

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The trend measure for housing starts dropped month-over-month from September to October of this year, due in part to a decrease in condo starts.

“The decrease in the trend reflects a decline, in October, of starts of multi-unit dwellings, including condominiums,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Given the elevated level of condominium units under construction, our expectation is that condominium starts will continue to trend lower over the coming months.”

CMHC estimates the seasonally adjusted annual rate for homes dropped to 183,604 units in October, down from 197,355 a month prior. 

“The SAAR of urban starts decreased to 164,683 in October, from 177,053 in September,” an official release from the Crown corporation states. “The decline was concentrated in multiple urban starts, which decreased to 98,673 in October, while single-detached urban starts increased to 66,010 units.”

The decline in urban housing starts was led by B.C., Quebec, Atlantic Canada, the Prairies and Ontario.

The hot market often blamed for a potential housing bubble has recorded record sales numbers once again, indicating that if said bubble exists it may only be getting bigger.

Ontario – home to one of the hottest condo markets in the country – experienced slighter drops in construction starts, however. That market is expected to see continued demand.

“Sales this past summer reaffirm that the new condo market in Toronto is on track for one if its best years on record,” Shaun Hildebrand, senior vice president of Urbanation said in late October. “There is still quite a bit of pent up demand that came out of the slowdown last year.

“Should market confidence continue to hold in spite of the recent turmoil in financial markets, this sales momentum will carry into the final months of 2014 and early 2015.”

The condo soft landing begins?

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