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Condos make up more than half of housing starts in Canada’s biggest cities: CMHC

OTTAWA — Condominiums accounted for more than one-third of all Canadian housing starts last year, and more than half of the total in several of the country’s biggest cities, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says.
The federal agency says condominium apartment starts represented less than one in five Canadian housing starts in the early 1990s, but that proportion had grown to more than one in three in 2013.
Vancouver, the country’s most expensive real estate market, saw condos make up 62.6% of its housing starts last year. In Montreal, condos accounted for 56.3% of the starts and in Toronto they accounted for 53.9% of new housing construction, CMHC said in an annual market review released Thursday.
“This long-term trend toward a higher share of condominium starts, especially in higher-priced urban centres, is likely due to the relatively lower price of condominium apartment units compared to freehold single-detached dwellings,” CMHC said in the 2014 Canadian Housing Observer.
“In addition, in most large urban centres, the secondary rental condominium market has become an increasingly important complement to purpose-built rental housing.”
CMHC said the share of purpose-built rental starts was about 20% of total starts in the early 1990s, but fell to 14% in 2013.