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Housing starts slip in April

By Adam Freill   

Construction Residential

Monthly SAAR of housing starts dips slightly from March, while actual starts were off by 9 per cent from a year earlier.

Housing Starts in Canada – All Areas. (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

The total monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased by one per cent in April compared to March, while monthly actual starts were down by 1, 750 units compared to April of 2023.

According to the latest figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), April’s SAAR came in at 240,229 units, while the actual number of housing starts across urban centres with populations of at least 10,000 was down nine per cent, coming in at 18,486 units in April, and off from the 20,231 units reported in April 2023.

CMHC attributes this year-over-year decrease was to lower multi-unit starts, which were down by 11 per cent. Single-detached starts were actually up compared to last April, rising by three per cent.

Overall, the six-month trend in housing starts dropped 2.2 per cent in April to sit at 238,585 units, off from the 243,907 units reported in March. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

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“Both the SAAR and trend of housing starts decreased in April, as did the actual number of starts, largely driven by fewer multi-unit starts, particularly in Ontario,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “The multi-unit volatility observed in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in recent months is unsurprising as we continue to see last year’s challenging borrowing conditions reflected in multi-unit housing starts numbers. We expect to see continued downward pressure in these large centres.”

 

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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