Housing starts trend upward in September
By Adam FreillConstruction Residential
Canadian housing starts are trending to the positive despite fall in actual year-to-date figures, reports CMHC.
Canadian housing starts were trending higher in September, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend line, a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada, came in at 254,006 units for the month. That’s a rise of 3.9 per cent from the 244,511 units reported in August.
The monthly SAAR was also on the rise, increasing eight per cent in September to come in at 270,466 units.
The greatest strength was observed in multi-unit urban starts, which increased 10 per cent to 207,689 units. Single-detached urban starts increased three per cent to come in at 43,077 units in September.
Looking at some of the country’s largest cities, total SAAR housing starts were up 98 per cent in Montreal and 20 per cent in Toronto. Vancouver’s housing figures fell off by 17 per cent, driven by declines in both single-detached, which dipped 12 per cent and multi-unit figures, which came in 18 per cent lower than the August report.
Nationally, year-over-year actual starts for September were down eight per cent in centres of 10,000 population and over, driven primarily by significantly lower single-detached starts. That said, there were some bright spots in the actual 2023 year-to-date housing starts figures. For example, Toronto and Vancouver were 22 and 37 per cent higher, respectively, than the same period in 2022.
“Both the SAAR and trend in housing starts were higher in September. Multi-unit starts activity has persisted and maintained similar levels to 2022 despite the higher interest rate environment. This has helped offset double-digit declines in single-detached starts in all provinces. In fact, September was the second highest month this year for multi-unit starts,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “It seems the current higher interest rate environment has not yet had the expected negative impact on multi-unit construction activity so far in 2023.”