Housing starts up 22 per cent month-to-month
May 23, 2023
Housing starts in Canada increased 22 per cent based on the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in April 2023 from a month earlier according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), but a slowdown is expected this year.
National SAAR levels for April were 261,559 new homes—up from 213,780 in March 2023.
Multi-family urban starts increased 33 per cent to 201,621 units, while single-detached urban starts decreased 2 per cent to 39,964 units.
Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal all recorded an increase in total housing starts in April—Vancouver up 36 per cent, Toronto up 54 per cent, and Montreal up 43 per cent. Both Toronto and Montreal recorded declines in single-detached starts that were offset by large increases in multi-unit starts, while Vancouver posted increases in both segments.
The rural starts monthly SAAR estimate in April was 19,974 units.
The trend in housing starts was 240,403 units in April, down 0.2 per cent March. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.
“While both the SAAR of housing starts and the trend have returned to levels observed before the pandemic, housing starts are expected to drop significantly in 2023, before seeing some recovery in 2024 and 2025, according to our latest forecast. The expected decline is due to constraints in new construction, including labour shortages, as well as higher construction and borrowing costs for housing developers,” said Aled ab Iorwerth, CMHC's deputy chief economist.