Ontario housing starts stable thanks to strong demand in new home market

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its housing starts data for September 2017, announcing that the trend decreased for the first time in many months.

National housing starts trended at 214,821 units, which is slightly lower than 220,573 in August 2017. The trend is a six month moving average of seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).

“Housing starts are trending lower in September after increasing for eight consecutive months,” says Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Nevertheless, new home construction remains very strong as the seasonally adjusted number of starts was above 200,000 units for four straight months.”

In Toronto, housing starts trended lower by 7% compared to the previous month, mostly due to low apartment starts. The low-rise sector remained strong and the pace of construction for new homes in general is stable thanks to the strong demand.

housing starts

Brantford is beginning to see an uptick in starts, especially of single detached homes. Earlier this year, detached homes in Brantford were selling for $500,000 to $700,000, making the market an affordable alternative for Hamilton and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) buyers.

Another highlight of September is London, which had the highest trending September since 2006 in both the detached home and multiples sectors. The recent income gain and surge in population growth has led to a steady demand for detached housing.

While Toronto experienced a drop in housing starts compared to the previous month, Ontario as a whole went up 13% year-over-year, hitting 6,448 units. Also, when comparing September 2017 to September 2016, Toronto’s housing starts increased by 16%.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts was 217,118 units, down from 225,918 in August. The SAAR of urban starts dropped 5.1% to 198,910 units, with multiples decreasing by 10.7% to 131,388 and singles up 8.2% to 67,522. Rural starts are estimated to be around 18,208 units.

We’re eager to see how the busy fall market affects housing starts leading into 2018!