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Canada’s housing starts trend rises for second consecutive month in July

August 16, 2023  By Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The housing starts trendline increased for the second consecutive month due to a healthy number of actual housing starts in July. The trend was 242,525 units, up 2.8 per cent from 235,819 units in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

“Despite a decrease in the SAAR of housing starts relative to last month, July saw a healthy number of actual housings starts from a historical perspective. This pushed the trend of housing starts upward for the second consecutive month. Market intelligence suggests multi-unit projects started in June and July were likely financed a few months prior, so, the effect of the most recent interest rate hikes on housing starts remains to be seen,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased 10 per cent in July (254,966 units) compared to June (283,498 units), which was the strongest month so far this year. Despite the monthly drop, total SAAR housing starts for all areas in Canada was 7.4 per cent above the 5-year average.

The monthly SAAR of total urban starts (centres 10,000 population and over) decreased by 11 per cent, with 234,857 units recorded in July. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 12 per cent to 193,446 units, while single-detached urban starts decreased four per cent to 41,411 units.


The Vancouver and Toronto CMAs saw decreases in total SAAR housing starts in July, with Vancouver down 23 per cent, and Toronto down 29 per cent. In contrast, the Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton CMAs recorded respective increases of 12 per cent, 33 per cent, and 67 per cent in total SAAR housing starts.

The rural starts monthly SAAR estimate was 20,109 units.


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