According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), an increase in Ontario housing starts in the multi-family sector over the last several months can be attributed to low vacancy rates, growing prices in the detached housing market and increasing urban intensification.
In January, urban housing starts were three per cent higher than levels recorded at the same time last year, but the increases were only seen in the multi-unit sector.
“All of the increase in starts occurred in the less expensive multi-unit home sector which includes semi detached, row and apartment dwellings,” says Ted Tsiakopoulos, Ontario Regional Economist for CMHC. “Apartment starts, both ownership and rental, have regained momentum since August of 2014 and are solely responsible for recent increases in construction activity. Lower Ontario rental apartment vacancy rates, rising single detached home prices and increasing densification will continue to support apartment construction.”
Statistics from the CMHC’s February 2015 Preliminary Housing Start Data report indicate that total urban housing starts reached 59,316 units in January, up from 56,798 units in December 2014. Construction activity was based mostly in the Greater Toronto Area and southwestern Ontario.