Housing starts in Calgary trended lower in January as both single-detached and multiple construction posted declines, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
“The slowdown in construction was mainly recorded in the multiple segment of the market where inventories are well above historical levels,” CMHC analyst Richard Cho said in a release.
Actual local housing starts last month totalled 426 units, a 25 per cent decline from 567 units in January 2016. Multi-unit construction such as condominiums and apartments plunged by 40 per cent from a year ago to 205 units, while single-detached starts were largely unchanged at 221 homes.
Nationally, the pace of construction picked up in January. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 207,408 units, up from 206,305 in December, CMHC said.
January’s stronger-than-expected housing starts follow a year that saw a record number of Canadian home resales, noted Royal Bank senior economist Nathan Janzen.
“The recent strength in housing starts has been largely concentrated in Ontario, where resale markets have also been the hottest in recent months (and January temperatures were warmer than usual), Janzen wrote in a report.
However, Janzen expects the pace of housing starts will slow as the year progresses.
Regionally, the annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but fell in British Columbia, the Prairies and Quebec.