Housing starts down in Calgary, Edmonton regions in May

Nationally, starts were down 13% from the previous month: CMHC

Housing starts in the Calgary and Edmonton regions dropped in May.

A report released on Monday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. shows that starts were down across the board in Alberta’s two largest centres.

The Calgary census metropolitan area saw single-detached starts of 294 in May, down by 23 per cent from a year ago, while the ‘all others’ category fell by 59 per cent to 518 units.

In the Edmonton census metropolitan area, the single-detached market dropped by 34 per cent to 335 units and the ‘all others’ category was down by 42 per cent to 260.

Canadian housing starts were down 13 per cent from the previous month to 202,300 (annualized) units in May. On a six-month moving average, starts came in at 202,000 units, slightly lower than in April, though still marking a healthy pace, said Rishi Sondhi, an economist with TD Economics.

“Moving forward, we anticipate some slowing in the pace of homebuilding, as past declines in housing demand feed into construction. There is some downside risk in B.C’s market, which has been supporting the national numbers so far in 2019,” said Sondhi in a commentary note.

“All told, homebuilding should remain relatively healthy at around 200,000 units going forward, lifted by robust population growth, solid labour markets, and the recent slide in borrowing costs.”

Robert Kavcic, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, said Alberta slipped back to very low levels, and starts are trending around the 20,000 mark. This is consistent with an economy running much cooler than in the past but still modestly expanding, he said.

© Troy Media

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