Housing starts slow in May

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Not surprisingly, housing starts cooled in May after a surge in April and are expected to remain lower throughout the rest of the year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Friday.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts was 211,400 units, compared with 243,800 units in April. The April figure was revised down from 244,900 units reported previously.

“As anticipated, the pace of housing starts observed in April was not sustained in May,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “In fact, the pace in May was more in line with the average over the last six month. Although some ups and downs are likely to continue in the months ahead, the pace of housing starts should trend lower as the year progresses,” added Laberge.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 15.8 per cent to 189,600 units in May. Urban single starts decreased by 4.2 per cent in May to 64,300 units, while multiple urban starts decreased by 20.7 per cent to 125,300 units.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 35.8 per cent in Québec, by 18.3 per cent in Ontario, and by 7.7 per cent in the Prairies. Urban starts increased by 6.4 per cent in Atlantic Canada and by 20.9 per cent in British Columbia. In each region, the decrease or increase was mainly due to changes in multiple starts.



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