Housing supply

Homebuilding slows as housing supply hits record low in Canada, data shows – National

Statistics released this week by Canadian real estate authorities show that while the inventory of homes available for sale in the country is at record highs, the pace of construction of new units is also slowing.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Tuesday that the annual pace of housing starts in December fell 22% from November.

The national housing agency said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 236,106 units for the last month of the year, down from 303,813 in November.

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The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), meanwhile, said Monday that home sales figures were relatively unchanged in the country from November to December.

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CREA’s senior economist Shaun Cathcart said the number of properties on the market in the last month of the year was at an all-time high.


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New registrations for December fell 15% to 28,550 from 33,606 in the same period a year earlier.

“An aggressive national push to build more homes is what will solve the problem, but it will likely have to be a greater amount of construction than anything we have ever undertaken,” Cathcart said in a statement. “A touch on the status quo will not suffice.”

He added that the housing affordability problem in Canada will get worse before it gets better due to the shortage.

CREA reported Monday that the national average home price reached $713,500 last month, up nearly 18% from the previous December. Markets like Toronto and Montreal have seen price inflation exceed the national average.

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Scotiabank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault told Global News last week that it will take years of accelerating pace of construction to close Canada’s housing deficit.

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Ontario Last in Canada’s Already Weak Housing Stock

Scotiabank analysis released last week showed that Ontario, the province with the largest housing per capita gap, would need to build 650,000 homes to reach Canada’s already low bar for average housing levels. .

“If we don’t fix that, if we don’t properly size the number of homes in Canada or in Ontario relative to the needs of the population, things will never be more affordable,” he said.

CMHC statistics broken down by property category:

  • The annual rate of urban housing starts fell 24% in December to 212,918.
  • Rural housing starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,188 units.
  • The annual rate of starts for apartments, condos and other types of urban multi-unit housing projects fell 29 per cent to 157,687.
  • The pace of single-detached urban housing starts fell 4% to 55,231.

— With files from The Canadian Press


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