Houses under construction in Toronto on Friday, June 26, 2015. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts increased in October. The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

Houses under construction in Toronto on Friday, June 26, 2015. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts increased in October. The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

CMHC says annual pace of housing starts climbed higher in October

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month

The annual pace of housing starts increased three per cent in October compared with September, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said on Tuesday, although the increase was less than some economists predicted.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts rose to 214,875 units last month compared with 208,715 in September, the national housing agency said. Economists surveyed by financial data firm Refinitiv had on average expected an annual rate of 222,000.

CMHC said that single-detached houses in cities such as Toronto and Montreal contributed to the upswing in overall housing starts.

“Homebuilding seems to be normalizing across most of the country, after a sizzling summer,” BMO economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy in a note to clients, reacting to Tuesday’s data.

“While we could see a softer condo market, rising demand for single-detached homes, supported by low interest rates and teleworkers, will still keep the housing market resilient overall.”

The annual rate of urban starts rose 3.5 per cent in October to 202,584 units. The pace of urban starts of apartments, condos and other types of multiple-unit housing projects edged down 0.2 per cent to 144,796, while urban starts of single-detached homes rose by 14.3 per cent to 57,788. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,291 units.

“For the last decade, highrise construction fuelled housing starts thanks to millennials and international migrants vying for a little slice of the sky,” wrote Thiagamoorthy.

“But now, with immigration flows slowing, and a shift in preference for larger suburban homes, we could see a bit of a slowdown in condo construction.”

Overall, the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 222,734 in October, up from 214,372 in September.

TD economist Rishi Sondhi noted that the Prairies drove October’s increase, with strong gains in Manitoba and Alberta, on top of an increase in Ontario.

CHMC’s data on new home building comes on the heels of Monday’s release of existing home resales from the Canadian Real Estate Association. CREA’s data showed October home resales were down from a record high in September, but still more than 30 per cent above last year’s levels. One reason was that people were seeking out suburban houses with more space as the pandemic required people to stay home.

“Relative to other industries, homebuilding has so far breezed through the pandemic, and October’s healthy print is yet another example,” wrote Sondhi in a note to clients on Tuesday.

“Notably, single-detached starts are beginning to pick up, which suggests that builders may be reacting to the outperformance in detached home sales observed during the pandemic.”

Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press

CoronavirusHousing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local MLA Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip Nation, here seen before the 2020 provincial election, said a new report finding “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system does not surprise Indigenous people. (Hansard TV)
MLA, Tsartlip member says ‘silo’ approach won’t work dealing with racism in health care

Adam Olsen calls for comprehensive approach in dealing with systemic racism

A man was issued a $230 fine after refusing to wear a mask inside a Central Saanich business. (Central Saanich Police Services/Twitter)
Man issued fine after refusing to mask up in Central Saanich business

$230 ticket issued under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

The University of Victoria will mark the eighth annual Giving Tuesday with its Add Sprinkles campaign which collects funds to support various student initiatives across campus. (Photo courtesy UVic Photo Services)
Nearly 150 Greater Victoria groups prepare for eighth annual Giving Tuesday

Last year Canadians raised nearly $22 million in 24 hours

Aragon Properties’ proposed development for the corner of Cook and Pendergast streets in Cook Street Village was voted down by Victoria city council on Thursday night after a public hearing. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)
Lack of affordable housing spells end for Cook Street Village project in Victoria

Council narrowly defeats proposal for four-storey building on former Pic-A-Flic Video site

A report by investigator Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond found “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in a report released Monday.
Peninsula hospital one where ‘significant work underway’ to repair Indigenous relations

Investigation finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’ in provincial health care

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Left to right: A screenshot of NTC nurse navigator Lesley Cerney, FNHA regional mental health manager Georjeana Paterson and Island Health’s medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns addressing Ehattesaht community members from Ehatis reserve in a Facebook live update. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Medical team sent to Ehatis reserve near Zeballos to guide community through COVID outbreak

17 cases, eight recoveries and no hospitalizations as Island Health praises First Nation’s response

Most Read