Canadian housing starts trend decreases in September

The trend in housing starts was 207,768 units in September 2018, compared to 213,966 units in August 2018, 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 national trend in housing starts stood at a 19-month low in September, following declines in four of the last five months,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “The slowdown in the pace of new residential construction activity in recent months is a result of both lower single-detached and multi-starts activity and brings new residential construction closer to its long-run average from the elevated levels registered in 2017.”

Total Toronto housing starts trended higher in September, as the decline in the single-detached starts trend was more than offset by rising multi-unit starts. Multi-unit starts were strong across unit types, led by semi-detached units saw the most starts for the month of September since 2004. The relative affordability of these higher-density units continues to fuel their demand.

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 they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 188,683 units in September, down from 198,843 units in August. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 5.9% in September to 175,653 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 8.9% to 122,656 units in September while single-detached urban starts increased by 2.0% to 52,997 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,030 units.

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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Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

September

September

September

September

September

September

2017

2018

%

2017

2018

%

2017

2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

N.-L.

63

60

-5

24

20

-17

87

80

-8

P.E.I.   

42

22

-48

51

50

-2

93

72

-23

N.S.   

141

152

8

306

418

37

447

570

28

N.B.   

97

68

-30

218

105

-52

315

173

-45

Atlantic

343

302

-12

599

593

-1

942

895

-5

Qc

751

750

0

4,212

3,421

-19

4,963

4,171

-16

Ont.   

2,602

1,973

-24

3,853

4,644

21

6,455

6,617

3

Man.   

267

188

-30

210

545

160

477

733

54

Sask.   

176

129

-27

113

126

12

289

255

-12

Alta.   

1,209

877

-27

1,184

949

-20

2,393

1,826

-24

Prairies

1,652

1,194

-28

1,507

1,620

7

3,159

2,814

-11

B.C.   

1,003

806

-20

2,263

1,432

-37

3,266

2,238

-31

Canada (10,000+)

6,351

5,025

-21

12,434

11,710

-6

18,785

16,735

-11

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

40

25

-38

134

13

-90

174

38

-78

Barrie

39

35

-10

16

17

6

55

52

-5

Belleville

60

37

-38

10

7

-30

70

44

-37

Brantford

36

15

-58

0

0

36

15

-58

Calgary

465

280

-40

449

554

23

914

834

-9

Edmonton

453

370

-18

631

227

-64

1,084

597

-45

Greater Sudbury

17

22

29

6

12

100

23

34

48

Guelph

19

12

-37

38

19

-50

57

31

-46

Halifax

76

84

11

280

338

21

356

422

19

Hamilton

70

147

110

78

296

279

148

443

199

Kelowna

91

36

-60

338

31

-91

429

67

-84

Kingston

32

38

19

47

21

-55

79

59

-25

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

101

70

-31

385

276

-28

486

346

-29

Lethbridge

44

57

30

20

13

-35

64

70

9

London

175

171

-2

182

73

-60

357

244

-32

Moncton

34

18

-47

118

48

-59

152

66

-57

Montréal

310

283

-9

2,713

2,068

-24

3,023

2,351

-22

Oshawa

90

136

51

411

33

-92

501

169

-66

Ottawa-Gatineau

318

328

3

489

464

-5

807

792

-2

Gatineau

73

60

-18

56

128

129

129

188

46

Ottawa

245

268

9

433

336

-22

678

604

-11

Peterborough

26

13

-50

8

23

188

34

36

6

Québec

64

68

6

869

520

-40

933

588

-37

Regina

56

31

-45

96

36

-63

152

67

-56

Saguenay

17

12

-29

8

32

300

25

44

76

St. Catharines-Niagara

86

34

-60

85

204

140

171

238

39

Saint John

18

15

-17

63

40

-37

81

55

-32

St. John’s

49

45

-8

15

17

13

64

62

-3

Saskatoon

95

85

-11

6

73

##

101

158

56

Sherbrooke

22

56

155

41

144

251

63

200

217

Thunder Bay

17

17

24

0

-100

41

17

-59

Toronto

1,080

509

-53

1,900

3,061

61

2,980

3,570

20

Trois-Rivières

22

33

50

15

30

100

37

63

70

Vancouver

501

404

-19

1,072

839

-22

1,573

1,243

-21

Victoria

62

73

18

538

190

-65

600

263

-56

Windsor

66

67

2

24

31

29

90

98

9

Winnipeg

225

151

-33

189

519

175

414

670

62

Total

4,876

3,777

-23

11,298

10,269

-9

16,174

14,046

-13

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source:  Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

 

Preliminary Housing Start Data – Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

August

September

August

September

August

September

2018

2018

%

2018

2018

%

2018

2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

N.L.

530

572

8

252

250

-1

782

822

5

P.E.I.   

313

199

-36

276

600

117

589

799

36

N.S.   

1,364

1,398

2

3,642

4,810

32

5,006

6,208

24

N.B.   

685

582

-15

433

1,082

150

1,118

1,664

49

Qc  

5,569

6,651

19

23,068

26,384

14

28,637

33,035

15

Ont.   

20,218

21,776

8

41,760

53,426

28

61,978

75,202

21

Man.   

2,489

2,144

-14

6,036

6,540

8

8,525

8,684

2

Sask.   

1,118

1,324

18

1,908

1,512

-21

3,026

2,836

-6

Alta.   

10,777

9,720

-10

21,090

11,072

-48

31,867

20,792

-35

B.C.   

8,914

8,631

-3

36,247

16,980

-53

45,161

25,611

-43

Canada (10,000+)

51,977

52,997

2

134,712

122,656

-9

186,689

175,653

-6

Canada (All Areas)

61,199

62,973

3

137,644

125,709

-9

198,843

188,683

-5

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

238

270

13

108

156

44

346

426

23

Barrie

1,173

596

-49

132

204

55

1,305

800

-39

Belleville

369

381

3

348

84

-76

717

465

-35

Brantford

645

129

-80

192

0

-100

837

129

-85

Calgary

4,463

2,748

-38

8,316

6,648

-20

12,779

9,396

-26

Edmonton

4,614

4,232

-8

11,652

2,724

-77

16,266

6,956

-57

Greater Sudbury

140

166

19

48

144

200

188

310

65

Guelph

142

125

-12

1,392

228

-84

1,534

353

-77

Halifax

809

756

-7

3,204

4,056

27

4,013

4,812

20

Hamilton

697

1,375

97

1,896

3,552

87

2,593

4,927

90

Kelowna

410

381

-7

3,540

372

-89

3,950

753

-81

Kingston

164

412

151

144

252

75

308

664

116

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

645

664

3

1,308

3,312

153

1,953

3,976

104

Lethbridge

287

533

86

408

156

-62

695

689

-1

London

539

1,880

249

468

876

87

1,007

2,756

174

Moncton

241

168

-30

264

576

118

505

744

47

Montréal

1,781

2,641

48

10,066

24,512

144

11,847

27,153

129

Oshawa

1,147

1,875

63

2,112

396

-81

3,259

2,271

-30

Ottawa-Gatineau

3,816

3,187

-16

9,180

5,568

-39

12,996

8,755

-33

Gatineau

521

413

-21

1,692

1,536

-9

2,213

1,949

-12

Ottawa

3,295

2,774

-16

7,488

4,032

-46

10,783

6,806

-37

Peterborough

271

200

-26

180

276

53

451

476

6

Québec

614

646

5

1,980

6,240

215

2,594

6,886

165

Regina

358

351

-2

348

432

24

706

783

11

Saguenay

123

141

15

276

384

39

399

525

32

St. Catharines-Niagara

640

417

-35

444

2,448

451

1,084

2,865

164

Saint John

185

144

-22

0

480

##

185

624

237

St. John’s

408

426

4

96

204

113

504

630

25

Saskatoon

576

809

40

1,368

876

-36

1,944

1,685

-13

Sherbrooke

134

490

266

360

1,728

380

494

2,218

349

Thunder Bay

149

139

-7

144

0

-100

293

139

-53

Toronto

5,501

5,531

1

23,652

36,732

55

29,153

42,263

45

Trois-Rivières

143

258

80

24

360

##

167

618

270

Vancouver

4,782

4,322

-10

19,956

10,068

-50

24,738

14,390

-42

Victoria

859

831

-3

6,168

2,280

-63

7,027

3,111

-56

Windsor

575

676

18

780

372

-52

1,355

1,048

-23

Winnipeg

2,084

1,870

-10

5,760

6,228

8

7,844

8,098

3

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source:  Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

Photo: Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, CMHC (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation).

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 

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