According to data released by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on Monday (4-19-21), Canadian housing starts increased month-over-month by 21.6% in March. Setting a new all-time record high for housing starts at 335,200 units in March, well above industry expectations of 250,000 units. Much of March’s gains were on multiple urban starts, which jumped 33.8% to 222,358 units. Single-detached urban starts rose 3.6% to 78,615 units. In comments prepared for the CMHC data release Royce Mendes, senior economist for CIBC Economics said, “The big acceleration came as weather was unseasonably warm in many parts of the country.” Mendes added that new home construction will likely be a major contributor to overall GDP growth again in 2021, even as building activity cools off from the “torrid pace” of recent months. Shelly Kaushik, an economist with BMO Capital Markets said in a note that, “Red-hot demand for real estate propelled a record month for housing starts in March. While the market will need a long stretch of supply growth to have a meaningful effect on prices, the March numbers are a solid start.”
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Canada housing starts up 21.6% in March to new record - CMHC