This year's sales continue to outstrip 2018’s, amid weaker starts

Despite signs of housing starts losing steam, Canada’s home sales remain stronger compared to last year and the early months of 2019.

“This continues to reflect strong demographic demand, both from international inflows and new households created within Canada,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic told The Canadian Press.

“There’s a lot of homebuilding activity going on across the vast majority of Canada.”

The number of transactions is expected to continue growing, amid significant boosts from lower rates and a growing consumer population.

The Canadian Real Estate Association recently adjusted its 2019 resale forecast up to 482,000 units, around 5% higher from 2018.

“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,” RBC senior economist Josh Nye stated.

“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.”

The pace of Canadian housing starts in September was markedly lower on a month-over-month basis, according to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home construction stood at 221,202 units in September, decelerating by 2.5% from August’s 226,871 reading.

Experts have earlier predicted an annual pace of 214,500 for the month, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Urban starts also declined by 2.4% to 208,503 units, although apartments, condos, and other multi-unit developments ticked down by just 0.2% to 159,742. Meanwhile, single-detached starts in urban markets fell by 9.2% to 48,761 units.