Author Archives: mleslie

Canada housing starts fall -2.6% in September

Ottawa, ON – October 10, 2017 – The trend in housing starts was 214,821 units in September 2017, compared to 220,573 units in August 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. “Housing starts are trending lower in September after increasing for eight consecutive months,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Nevertheless, new home construction remains very strong as the seasonally adjusted number of starts was above 200,000 units for four straight months.”

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Canadian building permits down -5.5% in August

Ottawa, ON – October 10, 2017 – Canadian municipalities issued $7.5 billion worth of building permits in August, down 5.5% from July. This was the second consecutive monthly decrease. Despite these declines, the year-to-date value of building permits (January to August) is up 8.7% compared with the same period in 2016, reflecting a $3.1 billion increase in multi-family dwellings.

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U.S. construction spending increases +0.5% in August

Washington, DC – October 2, 2017 – Construction spending during August 2017 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,218.3 billion, 0.5 percent (±1.3 percent) above the revised July estimate of $1,212.3 billion. The August figure is 2.5 percent (±1.8 percent) above the August 2016 estimate of $1,189.1 billion. During the first 8 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $806.2 billion, 4.7 percent (±1.3 percent) above the $769.9 billion for the same period in 2016.

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U.S. new single-family home sales drop -3.4% in August

Washington, DC – September 26, 2017 – Sales of new single-family houses in August 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.4 percent (±13.0 percent) below the revised July rate of 580,000 and is 1.2 percent (±18.5 percent) below the August 2016 estimate of 567,000.
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U.S. Architecture Billings Index continues growth streak

Washington, DC – September 20, 2017 – With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 53.7, up from a score of 51.9 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.5, up from a reading of 59.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased somewhat from 56.4 to 54.2.

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Euro area construction activity up +0.2% in July

Brussels – September 19, 2017 – In July 2017 compared with June 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA19) and by 0.5% in the EU28, according to first estimates from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In June 2017, production in construction grew by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28.

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U.S. building permits for private homes increase +5.7% in August, but housing starts fall -0.8%

Washington DC – September 19, 2017 – The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for August 2017:

Building Permits – Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,300,000. This is 5.7 percent (±2.0 percent) above the revised July rate of 1,230,000 and is 8.3 percent (±1.6 percent) above the August 2016 rate of 1,200,000. Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 800,000; this is 1.5 percent (±1.3 percent) below the revised July figure of 812,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 464,000 in August.
Housing Starts – Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,180,000. This is 0.8 percent (±9.6 percent) below the revised July estimate of 1,190,000, but is 1.4 percent (±8.9 percent) above the August 2016 rate of 1,164,000. Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 851,000; this is 1.6 percent (±9.0 percent) above the revised July figure of 838,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 323,000.

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Canadian Home Builders’ Association launch Net Zero Home Labelling Program

Ottawa, ON – May 2, 2017 – The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) today officially launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program – continuing CHBA’s long history in leading energy efficiency in residential construction. The Program provides the industry and consumers with a clearly defined and rigorous two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who provide them. A pilot version of the Net Zero Home Labelling Program ran from September 2015 to December 2016 to validate technical and administrative details.

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Growth in renovation spending in the U.S. will continue to grow in 2017 – remaining over +5%

Cambridge, MA – April 20, 2017 – Strong gains in home remodeling and repair activity are expected to ease moving into next year, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditure this year will remain above its long-term trend of 5 percent, but will decline steadily from 7.3 percent in the first quarter to 6.1 percent by the first quarter of 2018.

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Canada building permits fall -6.6% in December … Down -0.8% in all of 2016

Ottawa, ON – February 7, 2017 – Municipalities issued $7.2 billion worth of building permits in December, down 6.6% from November. Lower construction intentions were recorded for all components, led by commercial buildings and multi-family dwellings. In the residential sector, eight provinces posted declines while Ontario reported a record high. In the non-residential sector, the value of building permits fell for the second time in six months, down 11.5% to $2.3 billion in December, led by lower construction intentions for commercial buildings. Decreases were reported in seven provinces, with Ontario, Alberta and Quebec posting the largest declines.

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