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Canadian housing starts trend higher in November: CMHC


December 15, 2021
By Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

The trend in housing starts was 267,365 units in November, up from 264,583 units in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The six-month trend in housing starts was higher from October to November, with total starts rebounding from their declines in prior months,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “For SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas, there was a slight decrease in single-detached starts, while multi-family starts experienced a large increase in November, resulting in higher overall starts for the month. On a trend and monthly SAAR basis, the level of housing starts activity in Canada remains high in historical terms. Among Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, Vancouver was the only negative market, while Toronto had a significant gain in total SAAR starts in November, due to the multi-family segment more than doubling from the prior month.”

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 more complete picture of Canada’s housing market. 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.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 301,279 units in November, an increase of 26% from 238,366 units in October. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 29% in November to 279,396 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 41% to 221,153 units in November, while single-detached urban starts decreased by 1% to 58,243 units.

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Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,883 units.

Monthly Housing Starts and Other Construction Data are accessible in English and French on our website and the CMHC Housing Market Information Portal. Housing starts data is available on the eleventh business day each month. We will release the December data on January 18 at 8:15 AM ET.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.


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