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Published On: Thursday, 08 June 2017

Canadian Housing Starts Increased in May

Canadian Housing Starts Increased in May
(Graphic Credit: CMHC)

CANADA - The trend in housing starts was 214,621 units in May 2017, compared to 213,435 units in April 2017, 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.

Monthly Highlights:

  • Alberta & Saskatchewan
    • Housing starts are on the rise this year in most centres in Alberta and Saskatchewan – a good indication these oil and gas-dependent provinces are on the road to recovery. Strengthening labour market conditions in Calgary, Edmonton and Regina have generated more optimism among local homebuilders. In Saskatoon, year-to-date starts declined 25% as builders there remain cautious due to elevated multi-unit inventory.
  • British Columbia
    • Housing starts in BC trended higher in May with gains in Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission and other urban areas off-setting a slower pace in Vancouver and Victoria. Low inventory in both the resale and new home market is fueling new construction with single-detached and multi-family starts leading the way.
  • Vancouver
    • Despite a slight downward move in May, overall housing starts for Vancouver are on track to exceed 25,000 new homes this year, nearing the record 27,914 starts set in 2016. The decline from April was almost evenly split between a slowdown in starts of ownership apartments (condos) and rental apartments.

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 194,663 units in May, down from 213,498 units in April. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 10.2 per cent in May to 178,518 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 10.8 per cent to 118,694 units in May and single-detached urban starts decreased by 8.9 per cent, to 59,824 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,145 units.

Additional information and statistics are available at the following link.