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Canadian housing starts in urban areas declined in August: CMHC

September 19, 2022  By Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada in August was 267,443 units, down 3.0 per cent from July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The SAAR of total urban starts decreased 3.0 per cent to 246,771 units in August. Multi-unit urban starts declined 4.0 per cent to 187,602 units, while single-detached urban starts increased 1.0 per cent to 59,169 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,672 units.

“The six-month trend in housing starts was higher in August compared to July, despite a lower monthly SAAR. Housing starts activity remains elevated in Canada historically and have been well above 200,000 units since 2020,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.


“The decline in monthly SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas in August was driven by lower multi-unit starts. A decline in single-detached units in Vancouver was offset by higher multi-unit starts. Toronto posted strong increases across the board, while Montreal recorded a large (33 per cent) decline in multi-unit starts, resulting in the overall decline for Canada.”

The trend in housing starts was 267,309 units in August, up from 264,467 units in July. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of housing starts.

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a clearer picture of upcoming new housing supply. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as the multi-unit segment largely drives the market and can vary significantly from one month to the next.

For more info: CMHC.


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