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Josh Nye, senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada, notes that Canadian housing starts were above consensus at 221,000 annualized units in September with six-month trend remaining close to a cycle high.

Key Quotes

“Canada’s housing sector is back on the front foot with resales picking up as the year progresses and homebuilding activity clearly displaying some momentum. The latest permit data (247,000 in August) points to further strength ahead. After slowing throughout 2018 and early this year, the six-month trend in housing starts has reversed course, picking up to a near-cycle-high 223,500 annualized units.”

“Ontario, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada are on the rebound while the trend in BC and Quebec remains strong despite slower starts in the last month or two.”

“Across Canada, multi-unit starts remain the key driver of activity.”