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Posted April 12, 2012

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Housing

Ontario Home Starts Grow in March

TORONTO - The Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban(i) centres reached an estimated 85,200(ii) residential housing units in the latest month, up sharply from 65,400 units in February. Multi-family home construction, led by the apartment sector, was solely responsible for the increase. Meanwhile, single detached construction posted modest declines. While the GTA was the source of strength in March, most urban areas outside the GTA posted declines on a trend basis. Ontario construction activity is running above expectations so far for the first quarter.

"Apartment construction continues to be the engine driving growth in residential construction," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist. "However it is important to note that first quarter starts activity rarely mirror how construction activity will shape up for the year, particularly when driven by the apartment sector. Single detached construction is a better barometer of real time activity and starts are very much in line with last year levels. Modest job growth across the province, lower levels of demographic demand and high home prices should temper the pace of construction activity through 2012. Nevertheless, Ontario starts will remain stable this year and close to 2011 levels," added Tsiakopoulos.



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