Boom or bubble? New numbers build speculation
Housing starts hit a 15-month high according to a real estate report today, as media all across Canada continued to speculate whether the latest gains had stretched too far.
The Wall Street Journal and Canadian Business were amongst the publications recently to ask whether Canada's surprise performance in real estate was the start of a boom in the industry, or instead was nearing a bubble about to burst.
Rather than anything dramatic, however, most experts in the real estate industry still see 2010 as another strong year with a slowing of price gains in the second half as supply increases.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts reached 186,300 units in January, up 5.8 per cent from 176,100 in December, according to the CMHC.
In January last year, housing starts began the year with 149,081 units, with activity progressing as the year went on.
Regionally, B.C. had largest increase in housing starts, with a 19.8 per cent jump in housing units in the province. In the Prairie region, the seasonally adjusted rate of urban starts decreased by 4.8 per cent.