Multi-unit housing starts revived in June
July 28, 2023
A declining trend in housing starts seen over the last several months reversed slightly due to a significant increase in actual housing starts in June 2023 with multi-family action leading the way, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The trend was 234,974 units in June—up 2.4 per cent from 229,520 units in May 2023. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted-annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.
The SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada increased 41 per cent in June (281,373 units) compared to May (200,018 units)—the largest month-to-month SAAR change in the last 10 years. This is mostly due to multi-unit starts which accounted for about 82 per cent of total starts.
The rate is deceiving, however, because multi-unit starts can skew starts stats when several new projects launch at the same time.
The monthly SAAR of total urban starts (centres with a population of 10,000 or more) increased 46 per cent with 262,815 units recorded in June. Multi-unit urban starts increased 59 per cent to 219,914 units, while single-detached urban starts increased just 3 per cent to 42,901 units.
Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto recorded significant increases in total SAAR housing starts in June with Vancouver up 71 per cent and Toronto up 100 per cent. Toronto and Vancouver’s total housing starts combined accounted for 47 per cent of total housing starts in Canada’s urban centres for the month of June.
Montreal census metropolitan area also recorded an increase in total SAAR housing starts, but was less pronounced at 8 per cent. All three recorded increases in both single-detached and multi-unit starts.