Housing starts on the rise in Calgary, Edmonton

Across Alberta, single-detached starts were up 11%, according to CMHC

There was good news in the Calgary and Edmonton region homebuilding industry in October as housing starts were on the rise during the month.

A report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. indicates that single-detached starts of 282 were three per cent higher than a year ago and ‘all other’ starts jumped by 30 per cent to 536 units in the Calgary census metropolitan area.

The Edmonton region saw the single-detached market grow by 24 per cent to 378 units while the ‘all other’ category soared by 144 per cent to 444 units.

In Alberta, single-detached starts were up 11 per cent to 818 while ‘all other’ rose by 61 per cent to 1,089.

Nationally, CMHC said the trend in housing starts was 218,598 units in October compared to 223,276 units in September. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

Bob Dugan
Bob Dugan

“The national trend in housing starts decreased in October,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in a statement. “Multi-family starts in urban centres trended lower following four months of consecutive gains, offsetting a modest increase in the trend of urban single-detached starts in October.”

CMHC said it 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 Canada’s housing market. 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, it said.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 201,973 units in October, down 8.7 per cent from 221,135 units in September. In a commentary, Robert Kavcic, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets said “builders cooled their jets a bit in October, which might not be a bad thing. More broadly, the housing market remains solid, with demographic demand supporting robust construction activity.”

© Calgary’s Business

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