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February housing starts increased 14% from January: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp



The pace of new home construction in Canada gained significant momentum in February, according to data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). February saw a notable 14% increase in housing starts compared to the previous month, marking a positive uptick in the housing market.


In specific numbers, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts reached 253,468 units in February, a significant jump from the 223,176 units recorded in January. This surge reflects a growing demand for housing across the country.


Analyzing the trends over a year, February's housing starts revealed varying patterns in different cities. Toronto experienced a noteworthy 10% increase in actual housing starts compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Vancouver saw a remarkable 82% surge, primarily attributed to a rise in multi-unit starts.


In contrast, Montreal witnessed a decline in housing starts, with a notable nine per cent drop. This decline was observed in both multi-unit and single-detached starts, indicating a cooling trend in the city's housing market.


Rural areas also saw activity in housing construction, with an estimated annual rate of 14,835 units. This suggests that the demand for housing is not confined to urban centers but extends to rural communities as well.


Examining the broader trend, the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts for February stood at 245,665 units. This represents a modest increase of 0.4% from January's figure of 244,638 units. While the growth rate may appear slight, it indicates a stable and sustained pace of housing construction activity.


Overall, the data indicates a buoyant housing market in Canada, characterized by robust construction activity across various regions. Factors such as low mortgage rates, demographic shifts, and urbanization continue to drive demand for housing, contributing to the positive momentum observed in February's housing starts.


As the housing market continues to evolve, policymakers and industry stakeholders will closely monitor these trends to ensure a balanced and sustainable housing supply that meets the diverse needs of Canadians.


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