December of 2012 saw a decrease in housing starts across Canada. That month saw 197,976 units get their start, compared with the 201,376 seen in November of that same year. This is the fourth month in a row where housing starts numbers declined; leaving some to speculate that the building boom in Canada may have peaked.
Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist with CMHC noted that this trend was not totally unexpected considering the condition of the housing market. Canadians are also tending to buy in different areas, which also tweak the numbers. Rural zones starts declined, while the urban market saw starts stabilizing in December. Nationwide housing starts were lower than expected in all areas except for Ontario. Starts in that province were up 33.4 percent.
Rural starts in December numbered 19,106 units, while urban starts came in at 178,870. This pegs the question whether investors will be looking more towards the rural locations in 2013. If fewer new properties are going up, inventory may decrease, leaving those far sighted investors willing to chance building in less populated areas in the real estate driving seat. CMHC is already predicting that for 2013 the new home market will moderate itself, with only 193,600 starts expected by year’s end.