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2180 Steeles Avenue West,
Suite 204, Concord,
ON, L4K 2Z5

Phone:     905-761-7001
Toll Free: 1855-761-7001
Fax:          905-761-7005

Email: mortgageadvisor@rogers.com

10 January 2018

Condos push Canada’s building sector to its activity peak

The previous year was one of the strongest for the Canadian housing developers as we saw the largest number of starts in ten years on the wave of a growing demand.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., there were 219,675 construction starts in 2017, rising from 197,916 in 2016 and marking the largest number since 2007. The starts of multiple-unit projects, e.g. condominiums, reached a record high level since 1955.

Such a strong activity was quite unexpected for policy makers and analysts, who predicted a weak year for this sector. The real numbers reflect such fundamental drivers as a robust economy and growing population.

Robert Kavcic, an economist at Bank of Montreal in Toronto, says a hot year for the housing starts was “pushed by strong demographic support and stable job markets in Canada’s biggest provinces.”

The last year’s gains were broad-based: Ontario reported the largest number of housing starts since 2004, while British Columbia hit a record. Moreover, Alberta showed gains for the first time since the oil prices crash in 2014.

The market demand is still strong across the country even despite record high prices in the Toronto region. The Canadian Real Estate Association says national home prices rose by 9.3% in a year. As a result, the five year hike reached 48%. Real estate prices in Toronto were up by 8.4% during the previous year.

Nevertheless, we may see a slowdown this year, as stricter mortgage rules take effect and the central bank may raise its key lending rate.

“As we have a record high number of housing starts in 2018, a more moderate demand restrained by tighter rules and a possibility of rate hikes coming, the activity may slow down this year,” – Kavcic noted.



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