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Housing starts take double-digit jump

By Adam Freill   

Construction Residential

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that housing starts rose significantly this past February.

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 increased 14 per cent in February, reaching 253,468 units, compared to January’s 223,176, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The six-month trend was also on the rise, moving from 244,638 units in January to 245,665 units in February for a slight 0.4 per cent gain. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

The actual number of starts across Canadian urban centres of 10,000 population and over was up 11 per cent to 17,495 units in February compared to 15,822 units in February 2023. CMHC says the year-over-year increase was driven solely by higher multi-unit starts, which were up by 16 per cent. Single-detached starts decreased 14 per cent in February.

February’s actual starts were 10 per cent and 82 per cent higher year-over-year in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, with CMHC again citing higher multi-unit starts for the jumps. Montreal’s actual starts decreased by nine per cent, with both housing segments reporting in lower than in February of 2023.


“Following two consecutive monthly declines, both the SAAR and trend of housing starts increased in February. This was due to growth in actual year-over-year starts, driven by higher multi-unit starts, particularly in Toronto and Vancouver,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “As the national housing shortage continues, the focus for developers continues to shift towards multi-unit construction in Canada’s major centres.”




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