On-Site Magazine

Housing starts trend increases in July

By Adam Freill   

Construction Residential

A healthy number of actual housing starts pushed the trend line upwards for a second consecutive month in July, reports CMHC.

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

Canada’s housing starts trend line increased for the second consecutive month due to a healthy number of actual housing starts in July, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend was 242,525 units, up 2.8 per cent from 235,819 units in June. 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.

Despite the trend rising, the standalone monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased 10 per cent in July, to sit at 254,966 units compared to the 283,498 units reported in June. June was the strongest month so far this year. Despite the monthly drop, total SAAR housing starts for all areas in Canada was 7.4 per cent above the 5-year average.

The monthly SAAR of total urban starts (centres 10,000 population and over) decreased by 11 per cent, with 234,857 units recorded in July. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 12 per cent to 193,446 units, while single-detached urban starts decreased four per cent, to 41,411 units.

The Vancouver and Toronto CMAs saw decreases in total SAAR housing starts in July, with Vancouver down 23 per cent, and Toronto down 29 per cent. In contrast, the Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton all recorded respective increases of 12 per cent, 33 per cent, and 67 per cent in total SAAR housing starts.


“Despite a decrease in the SAAR of housing starts relative to last month, July saw a healthy number of actual housings starts from a historical perspective,” explained Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “This pushed the trend of housing starts upward for the second consecutive month. Market intelligence suggests multi-unit projects started in June and July were likely financed a few months prior, so, the effect of the most recent interest rate hikes on housing starts remains to be seen.”

According to CMHC tracking, Toronto and Vancouver have been performing well this year compared to last. Actual 2023 year-to-date housing starts in the two cities were 35 per cent and 49 per cent higher than the same period in 2022.




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