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Canadian housing starts jump 14% in February

March 15, 2024  By Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Housing Starts in Canada - All Areas. Photo: CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The total monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts for all areas in Canada increased 14 per cent in February (253,468 units) compared to January (223,176), according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The six-month trend in housing starts increased from 244,638 units in January to 245,665 units in February for a slight 0.4 per cent gain. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

“Following two consecutive monthly declines, both the SAAR and Trend of housing starts increased in February. This was due to growth in actual year-over-year starts, driven by higher multi-unit starts, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver. As the national housing shortage continues, the focus for developers continues to shift towards multi-unit construction in Canada’s major centres,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

The actual number of housing starts across Canada in urban centres of 10,000 population and over was up 11 per cent to 17,495 units in February compared to 15,822 units in February 2023. The year-over-year increase was driven solely by higher multi-unit starts, up 16 per cent. Single-detached starts decreased 14 per cent in February.


February’s actual housing starts were 10 per cent and 82 per cent higher year-over-year in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, because of higher multi-unit starts, while single-detached starts decreased. Montreal’s actual starts decreased nine per cent, as both housing segments were lower.

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