Home building picks up in April except in Toronto

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Canada’s most populous city saw housing starts fall 38%

Housing starts rose 8 percent month-on-month in April. Housing starts rose 8 percent month-on-month in April. Photo by James MacDonald/Bloomberg

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The pace of new home construction began to reverse in April, bucking a downward trend that lasted for most of the year, according to data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

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Standalone housing starts rose eight percent month-on-month to 267,330 units, the CMHC said, with the six-month seasonally adjusted moving average also rising to 257,846 units from 253,226 units in March.

“On a trend and monthly basis (seasonally adjusted annual rate), the level of housing starts in Canada remains historically high, hovering well above 200,000 units since June 2020 and rising from March to April,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a press release accompanying the data.

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“The increase in monthly housing starts in urban Canada was driven by higher multifamily and single-family housing starts in April. Among Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Toronto was the only market to see a decrease in the total number of launches, driven by lower multifamily and single home launches.”

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Toronto saw a 38 percent decline in its seasonally adjusted, annualized pace, with April launches falling to 24,605 ​​units. Toronto faces a housing shortage that is struggling to keep up with the immense demand in Canada’s most populous city. Housing will be a key issue in Ontario’s upcoming provincial election as party leaders announce their plans to tackle housing affordability.

  1. The last time Canadian home prices fell was in April 2020, when COVID-19 had shut down the economy.

    Canada’s median home price slips to $746,000 as sales plummet as interest rates rise

  2. Sales of homes that sold over $1.5 million in Toronto increased 31 percent from 2021.

    Toronto home sales are slowing, but not when it comes to homes over $1.5 million

  3. A condominium building is seen under construction surrounded by homes while condominium towers can be seen in the distance in Vancouver, BC, Friday March 30, 2018.  The local housing authority says the benchmark price of a single-family home in Metro Vancouver has fallen nearly 10 times a year as more sellers listed properties but home seekers continued to take their time.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

    Rising interest rates put BC properties “on a path to normalization” as prices and sales decline in April

In the province’s last budget in April, the Doug Ford administration pledged to set a goal of 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.

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The plan would also target demand, as Treasury Secretary Peter Bethlenfalvy said the government would stick to its plan to increase the speculation tax for non-residents from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Liberal leader Steven Del Duca’s housing platform includes a similar plan to add 1.5 million homes. He would also own the Ontario Home Building Corp. to build affordable homes for first-time buyers and relax zoning rules to allow for more multi-family homes.

Overall, urban housing starts saw a monthly increase of 10 percent to 245,324 units in April, mainly due to increases in multi-family housing of 14 percent to 178,092 units. Single-family homes in the city rose about one percent to 67,232 units for the month. Rural housing starts came in at an adjusted annual rate of 22,006 units.

• Email: shughes@postmedia.com | Twitter: StephHughes95

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