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The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts picked up in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 245,657 units compared with 196,809 units in May.

The result topped the 210,000 units that economists had expected, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

The increase in the pace of home starts came as the rate of urban starts increased by 26% in June to 234,238 units.

The annualized pace of multiple-unit projects such as condominiums, apartments and townhouses increased by 31% to 185,804 units last month, while the pace of single-detached urban starts rose 8% to 48,434 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11,419 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates was 205,838 units in June compared with 200,530 in May.

In emailed commentary, Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets, noted that the strong growth in June has brought the average pace of housing starts above 220,000 for the current quarter.

“Today’s print adds further evidence that residential investment will show up as a positive contributor to GDP growth for the first time since 2017,” Mendes wrote. “Looking ahead, though, many of the prior headwinds to the housing sector remain in place, and will likely see the strength seen in Q2 taper off as the year progresses.”