Calgary Housing Starts up 25% Y/Y in October, Down YTD

Calgary housing starts in October were above year ago levels according to CMHC’s Preliminary Housing Start Data released today.

Single-detached housing starts were up 17% y/y with 406 homes breaking ground. The multi-family sector was up 31% to 575 which meant total housing starts were up 25% from last October.

Year-to-date (Jan-Oct) single-detached starts in Calgary are still down -18% from last year, while other construction is down -3%. Total construction YTD is down -12% y/y.

You can view the whole CMHC report here.

Data commentaries on Canadian Housing Start Data

TD Bank

“Looking past the month-to-month gyrations, single-family starts have come down from their rebound early in the recovery, and have been largely flat for about a year. What growth there has been in starts comes from the multi-unit component. That trend reflects the conflicting reality that low interest rates make buying a home more attainable, but the prevailing price level is limiting the size of dwelling people can buy; a situation that favours the multi-unit segment in larger urban areas.

However, TD Economics expects that high levels of debt among Canadian households will lead to further moderation in the housing market. Ultimately, this will be the dominating factor with regards to homebuilding activity, going forward. We forecast that housing starts will slow to an average of 180,000 by next year, and trend lower the year after.”

Bank of Montreal

“Canadian housing continues to hold up well in this low interest rate environment, though headwinds like weak consumer confidence and a recently cooling job market could start to apply some pressure. On the supply side, there’s a clear divide between singles and condos, with the latter looking more vulnerable if a correction does indeed come.”


“The pace of housing starts in Canada has picked up substantially during the course of 2011, increasing by 8.3% and 6.3% in second and third quarters, respectively.

Today’s report indicates that this rapid pace was maintained during October; however, much of the recent strength has been due to upside surprises in the volatile urban-multiples component. The 123,000 average pace in urban-multiple starts in the past two months has been substantially faster than the 103,000 pace maintained for the first eight months of this year.

We expect that this component will eventually revert back to this more sustainable pace. Our forecast assumes that housing starts will average 182,000 in 2012.”

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