Housing starts on downslope across Canada

Housing starts on downslope across Canada

New CMHC data shows month-to-month decline

The country's housing starts trend experienced a significant downturn last month. New data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows units fell from 270,661 in September to 264,264 units in October.

“The six-month trend in housing starts declined from September to October, as the retreat in total starts from their earlier 2021 levels continued,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC. “For [seasonally adjusted annual rate] housing starts in Canada’s urban areas, a slight increase in single-detached starts didn’t offset a larger decrease in multi-family starts in October and led to a decline in overall starts for the month.”

Of the three biggest real estate markets - Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver was the lone market to experience growth in total SAAR starts last month, propelled by a rebound in the multi-family sector, explained Dugan.

Nonetheless, overheated conditions persisted as the default state across the country, Dugan said. “On a trend and monthly SAAR basis, the level of housing starts activity in Canada remains high in historical terms,” Dugan said.

The monthly SAAR of housing starts across all Canadian markets reached 236,554 units in October, decreasing by 5.3% from September levels. Urban starts fell by 3.7% to 214,797 units, as multiple urban starts fell by 5.3% to 156,781 units. Single-detached urban starts increased by a modest 1% to 58,016 units.