“The small increase in the trend was primarily driven by higher multiple starts in Ontario, the Atlantic region, and Québec. Despite month-to-month variation in multiple starts, CMHC expects builders will continue to focus on managing inventory of completed but unsold units — inventory that is still above historical average,” Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist said in an official release. “CMHC also forecasts slight moderation in housing starts in 2015 and 2016, reflecting a slowdown in housing market activity in oil-producing provinces that will partly be offset by increased activity in provinces that are seeing the positive impacts of low oil prices.”
Urban starts increased 10.8 per cent in May to 185,235 units, a great chunk of that taking place in the multi-unit urban sector. Those increased 16.9 per cent over the previous month to 126,367.
Singe-detached urban starts remained stable at 58,868 units.
“In May, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Québec, while it decreased in British Columbia and the Prairies,” the CMHC release states.
Rural starts, meanwhile, were estimated at 16,470.
“CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canada’s housing market,” the Crown Corporation states. “In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.”
Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada led the way for housing starts in May, upping that count from the previous month by a marginal mark.