Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ontario Housing Way Down in February 2015

I meant to blog about this Globe article about Canada's February housing numbers, but I just got around to it now. Housing was down a lot overall:

Construction of new housing units fell 16 per cent in February to an annualized 156,276, down from 187,025 in January, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Monday.

However in Ontario and Quebec rather than Alberta was where the damage was:

New home construction fell 53 per cent in Quebec and 35 per cent in Ontario compared to a year earlier, defying expectations that lower interest rates and cheaper gas prices would boost markets outside of oil-dependent Western provinces. Condo construction fell by more than 50 per cent in Toronto, after a near-record wave of completions in February.
Considering how much Ontario depends on the housing market to drive its economy, new home construction down by 35% isn't good news (although in the spirit of Zero Hedge maybe it was the weather in February). Condo construction being down more than 50% isn't particularly great for employment in Toronto either, obviously for those working on construction plus all the hangers on associated with condos being built. This can't really help the first quarter GDP number either.

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