Housing starts ‘flat’ as 2022 nears end
January 2, 2023
The standalone monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada was flat in November, with a minor decline of 0.2 per cent (to 264,159 units) compared to October (264,581 units), according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The SAAR of total urban starts was also flat, with 242,644 units recorded in November. Multi-unit urban starts increased 2 per cent to 190,415 units, while single-detached urban starts fell 7 per cent to 52,229 houses.
Rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 21,515 units.
“Both the monthly SAAR and the six-month trend were flat in November. Among Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, both Toronto and Vancouver posted increases in total SAAR housing starts in November, with Toronto up 20 per cent and Vancouver up 8 per cent. Montreal was the laggard, with a 62 per cent decrease in multi-unit activity which brought the overall level of housing starts in Canada down to similar levels observed in October. Despite this, housing starts activity remains elevated in Canada in 2022,” said CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan.
The trend in housing starts measure is a six-month moving average of monthly SAARs 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.
The trend in housing starts was 274,361 units in November—down 1 per cent from 277,044 units in October according to CMHC.