On-Site Magazine

Rate of starts turns south in January

By Adam Freill   

Construction Residential

CMHC reports SAAR of housing starts hit its lowest level since September 2020. Actual starts up in some centres versus January 2022.

Seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts in Canada. (Source: CMHC)

The rate of housing starts took a significant turn downward in January, posting a 13 per cent drop from December, according to tabulations by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada declined to 215,365 units. December’s figure came in at 248,296 units.

Despite the considerable drop in the SAAR, actual housing starts for metropolitan areas with populations over 10,000 were up roughly four per cent compared to January of 2022, coming in at 12,037 units in January of 2023.

The trend in housing starts sat at 259,412 units in January, down four per cent from the 269,781 units reported in December. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

“Both the Monthly SAAR and the six-month trend of housing starts declined nationally in the first month of 2023, with SAAR of housing starts hitting its lowest level since September 2020,” said Aled ab Iorwerth, CMHC’s Deputy Chief Economist. “Among Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Montreal was the only market with increases in total SAAR housing starts in January, up 36 per cent. Toronto declined 52 per cent while Vancouver declined 14 per cent, which contributed to the overall monthly decline in SAAR housing starts for Canada.”





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