New home construction started off strong in 2017, both in terms of single-detached homes and multi-unit residential. While Ontario starts continue to drive the national trend upwards, construction has slowed in BC since last July when it reached a near record high. This slowdown can be partly attributed to builders focusing on projects still underway.
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,834 units in January compared to 197,881 in December. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) 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 more complete picture of the state 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.
Other notable data:
- The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 207,408 units in January, up from 206,305 units in December.
- The SAAR of urban starts increased by 1.0 per cent in January to 189,688 units.
- Multiple urban starts increased by 4.2 per cent to 125,886 units in January and single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent, to 63,802 units.
- In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, but decreased in British Columbia, the Prairies and Quebec.
- Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,720 units.