23 Feb 2011

Housing starts increase in January, more expected in 2011 and 2012

As Toronto's population continues to grow and storage units are filled, it's clear that homebuilders are expecting more is on the way, as housing starts rose last month.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corportation, 170,400 units were started last month, up from 169,000 units in December 2010.

"Housing starts moved slightly higher in January because of an increase in rural starts," said Bog Dugan, chief economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Center. "Single-detached and multiple starts showed a moderate decline.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,500 units in January, according to the CMHC.

The condominium market is particularly vibrant. In an interview with the Toronto Metro, Shaun Hildebrand, senior CMHC market analyst for the Greater Toronto area said, "Sales of new condominium units reached their second highest level on record last year, indicating that many projects will be switching from pre-sale to construction phase this year."

For the year, the CMHC projects housing starts in Canada to be in the range of 157,300 and 192,900 units. Next year, it may be as high as 211,200 units.

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