Housing starts stats dip
By Adam FreillConstruction Residential
CMHC reports SAAR for Canadian housing starts showed a small decline in August, falling three per cent from July.
The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada reached 267,443 units in August, down three per cent from July, despite a small increase in the six-month moving average, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The six-month trend came in at 267,309 units in August, however, up from the 264,467 units reported a month earlier.
The SAAR for urban-starts matched the three per cent overall drop, coming in at 246,771 units on a fall of multi-unit urban starts, which contracted four per cent to 187,602 units. Single-detached urban starts increased by one per cent to 59,169 units. And rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,672 units.
“The six-month trend in housing starts was higher in August compared to July, despite a lower monthly SAAR. Housing starts activity remains elevated in Canada historically and have been well above 200,000 units since 2020,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “The decline in monthly SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas in August was driven by lower multi-unit starts. A decline in single-detached units in Vancouver was offset by higher multi-unit starts. Toronto posted strong increases across the board, while Montreal recorded a large decline in multi-unit starts, resulting in the overall decline for Canada.”
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.