Canadian housing starts trended higher in July

  8/14/2019 |   SHARE
Posted in Canadian Housing Market by Ron Hyde| Back to Main Blog Page

Single House New Build Framing

The trend in housing starts was 208,970 units in July 2019, compared to 205,765 units in June 2019, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"The national trend in housing starts increased in July, despite a decrease in the level of SAAR activity from June," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "High levels of activity in apartment and row starts in urban centres in recent months continued to be reflected in the high level of the total starts trend in July".

Housing Starts Canada

Monthly Highlights

Vancouver
Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) housing starts continued to trend higher in July. Compared to the same period last year, the year-to-date single-detached home starts declined while the multi-unit starts increased. More than 85% of starts were multi-unit, most of which are in the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey. Overall, continuous strengthening of economic fundamentals supported a steady growth of 25% in the year-to-date starts in the CMA between 2018 and 2019.

Victoria
Housing starts in the Victoria CMA declined in July, relative to the same month last year, across both the single-detached and multi-unit segments of the market. In the first seven months of 2019, housing starts were down approximately 12% relative to the same period in 2018. Continued overall strength in housing starts in the Victoria area is symptomatic of strong housing demand seen over the past three years and current strong demand for multi-unit options, in particular, in the area.

Lethbridge
The trend in total starts in the Lethbridge CMA was higher in July 2019 compared to the previous month. Apartment starts trended 360% higher compared to June as rental demand continue to increase. Single-detached and row starts trended lower while semi-detached starts remained stable.

Regina
Total housing starts in Regina trended lower in July after the pace of single-detached and multi-family construction slowed from the previous month. In 2019, builders have initiated just over a third of the total units started over the same period in 2018. This is largely due to higher construction costs and weaker economic conditions that have moderated new home demand and caused some projects to either be shelved or cancelled altogether.

Winnipeg
The trend in total housing starts in the Winnipeg CMA decreased in July compared to the previous month. The downward trend in total starts was mainly due to decreases in multi-family starts as both row and apartment starts trended lower. Single-family starts, however, trended higher but were not enough to offset the decreases in the multi-family units.

Toronto
Total housing starts trended lower in July in the Toronto CMA, primarily driven by lower multi-unit starts (semi-detached, rows, and apartments). Pre-construction sales of multi-unit homes, particularly condominium apartments, have been strong for the last few years and will break ground at a varying pace throughout the year. Strong demand for relatively affordable higher density housing continues to persist among homebuyers in Toronto.

St. Catharines
In July 2019, the total housing starts trend in the St. Catharines CMA inched lower. The total housing starts trend in recent months remained close to a 30-year high with townhomes accounting for the largest share. Improvements in employment conditions for people aged 25-44 fueled first-time home buying activity in relatively affordable home types such as townhomes.

Ottawa
The monthly trend for housing starts grew in Ottawa in July across all housing types. Year-to-date, total housing starts sit 5.3% higher than the same period last year with the strongest growth in condominium apartments followed by row starts. Low resale and rental market supply coupled with higher ownership costs for single-detached homes are encouraging construction of less expensive dwelling types.

Montréal
From January to July, housing starts in the Montréal area were up compared to the same period last year. This gain was solely attributable to rental housing construction, as condominium and single-family home starts recorded decreases. The low vacancy rates on the conventional rental market and the greater proportion of young households now opting for rental housing have kept stimulating rental housing starts. Seniors' rental apartment construction has also posted strong growth since the beginning of the year. 

Saguenay
From January to July, housing starts in the Saguenay CMA dropped by 18% compared to the same period last year. This decrease in activity was attributable to fewer homeowner (freehold and condominium) housing starts. Overall, residential construction in the area has been limited by the slowdown in employment and low population growth. 

New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, year-to-date total housing starts are up 40% compared to last year. The increase largely reflects unprecedented levels of rental apartment construction, particularly in Moncton and Saint John. These two CMAs alone accounted for 75% of all new multi-unit construction in the province. The number of multi-unit starts this year are the highest recorded in the first seven months since 2010. New Brunswick's urban centres are benefiting from provincial strategies to actively attract and retain immigrants. These new arrivals are boosting rental demand, in addition to demand from an aging population.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Total housing starts in PEI were 319% higher in July, due to the ongoing surge in new apartment construction activity in response to the Island's near zero vacancy rate. The PEI economy continues to outperform the other Atlantic Provinces, driven primarily by increased capital project spending and growth in population, income and employment.

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 more complete picture of Canada's housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 222,013 units in July, down 9.6% from 245,455 units in June. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 10.4% in July to 209,122 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 12% to 162,722 units in July while single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.6% to 46,400 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,891 units.

Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   
   

July 2018

July 2019

%

July 2018

July 2019

%

July 2018

July 2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.-L.

 

64

41

-36

36

11

-69

100

52

-48

P.E.I.   

 

31

27

-13

5

124

##

36

151

319

N.S.   

 

134

145

8

396

186

-53

530

331

-38

N.B.   

 

112

104

-7

112

165

47

224

269

20

Atlantic

 

341

317

-7

549

486

-11

890

803

-10

Qc

 

629

605

-4

2,214

3,154

42

2,843

3,759

32

Ont.   

 

2,029

1,867

-8

3,957

4,178

6

5,986

6,045

1

Man.   

 

218

202

-7

514

310

-40

732

512

-30

Sask.   

 

154

88

-43

81

37

-54

235

125

-47

Alta.   

 

1,094

839

-23

1,456

1,586

9

2,550

2,425

-5

Prairies

 

1,466

1,129

-23

2,051

1,933

-6

3,517

3,062

-13

B.C.   

 

877

706

-19

2,661

3,630

36

3,538

4,336

23

Canada (10,000+)

5,342

4,624

-13

11,432

13,381

17

16,774

18,005

7

Metropolitan Areas

                 

Abbotsford-Mission

42

28

-33

111

218

96

153

246

61

Barrie

 

169

43

-75

0

32

##

169

75

-56

Belleville

 

47

49

4

9

8

-11

56

57

2

Brantford

 

37

74

100

21

14

-33

58

88

52

Calgary

 

301

283

-6

709

408

-42

1,010

691

-32

Edmonton

 

563

373

-34

518

988

91

1,081

1,361

26

Greater Sudbury

22

26

18

8

18

125

30

44

47

Guelph

 

10

25

150

81

53

-35

91

78

-14

Halifax

 

74

81

9

330

148

-55

404

229

-43

Hamilton

 

76

39

-49

226

85

-62

302

124

-59

Kelowna

 

46

48

4

112

74

-34

158

122

-23

Kingston

 

37

28

-24

26

61

135

63

89

41

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

49

68

39

62

347

460

111

415

274

Lethbridge

 

43

36

-16

8

107

##

51

143

180

London

 

156

151

-3

92

124

35

248

275

11

Moncton

 

44

31

-30

20

89

345

64

120

88

Montréal

 

253

247

-2

1,287

1,867

45

1,540

2,114

37

Oshawa

 

51

99

94

68

42

-38

119

141

18

Ottawa-Gatineau

339

320

-6

514

579

13

853

899

5

  Gatineau

 

38

44

16

247

256

4

285

300

5

  Ottawa

 

301

276

-8

267

323

21

568

599

5

Peterborough

 

64

17

-73

0

95

##

64

112

75

Québec

 

70

70

-

266

679

155

336

749

123

Regina

 

29

19

-34

38

5

-87

67

24

-64

Saguenay

 

32

15

-53

16

10

-38

48

25

-48

St. Catharines-Niagara

53

72

36

12

53

342

65

125

92

Saint John

 

19

26

37

52

0

-100

71

26

-63

St. John's

 

46

25

-46

24

6

-75

70

31

-56

Saskatoon

 

111

51

-54

27

16

-41

138

67

-51

Sherbrooke

 

19

26

37

36

55

53

55

81

47

Thunder Bay

 

28

9

-68

0

9

##

28

18

-36

Toronto

 

491

456

-7

2,872

2,315

-19

3,363

2,771

-18

Trois-Rivières

13

18

38

44

32

-27

57

50

-12

Vancouver

 

411

345

-16

1,746

2,353

35

2,157

2,698

25

Victoria

 

97

46

-53

320

261

-18

417

307

-26

Windsor

 

59

86

46

24

335

##

83

421

407

Winnipeg

 

173

169

-2

474

246

-48

647

415

-36

Total

 

4,074

3,499

-14

10,153

11,732

16

14,227

15,231

7

 

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value

 

 

Preliminary Housing Start Data - Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   
   

June 2019

July 2019

%

June 2019

July 2019

%

June 2019

July 2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.L.

 

460

355

-23

228

85

-63

688

440

-36

P.E.I.   

 

274

215

-22

1,116

1,488

33

1,390

1,703

23

N.S.   

 

1,424

1,348

-5

5,859

2,162

-63

7,283

3,510

-52

N.B.   

 

611

635

4

4,388

1,853

-58

4,999

2,488

-50

Qc  

 

6,255

6,144

-2

45,875

41,713

-9

52,130

47,857

-8

Ont.   

 

18,267

18,899

3

46,950

49,044

4

65,217

67,943

4

Man.   

 

2,134

2,099

-2

6,948

3,720

-46

9,082

5,819

-36

Sask.   

 

1,119

801

-28

1,488

444

-70

2,607

1,245

-52

Alta.   

 

10,059

8,477

-16

20,108

18,783

-7

30,167

27,260

-10

B.C.   

 

8,039

7,427

-8

51,901

43,430

-16

59,940

50,857

-15

Canada (10,000+)

48,642

46,400

-5

184,861

162,722

-12

233,503

209,122

-10

Canada (All Areas)

56,838

55,957

-2

188,618

166,055

-12

245,455

222,013

-10

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

413

321

-22

384

2,616

##

797

2,937

269

Barrie

 

166

204

23

0

384

##

166

588

254

Belleville

 

453

442

-2

336

96

-71

789

538

-32

Brantford

 

77

484

##

60

168

180

137

652

376

Calgary

 

3,196

3,184

0

9,612

4,896

-49

12,808

8,080

-37

Edmonton

 

4,737

3,954

-17

10,056

11,856

18

14,793

15,810

7

Greater Sudbury

85

128

51

144

216

50

229

344

50

Guelph

 

304

293

-4

156

636

308

460

929

102

Halifax

 

797

755

-5

5,520

1,776

-68

6,317

2,531

-60

Hamilton

 

542

381

-30

1,164

1,020

-12

1,706

1,401

-18

Kelowna

 

703

618

-12

2,196

888

-60

2,899

1,506

-48

Kingston

 

356

250

-30

0

732

##

356

982

176

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

835

979

17

2,916

4,164

43

3,751

5,143

37

Lethbridge

 

371

349

-6

360

1,284

257

731

1,633

123

London

 

1,155

1,442

25

3,732

1,488

-60

4,887

2,930

-40

Moncton

 

161

185

15

2,508

1,068

-57

2,669

1,253

-53

Montréal

 

2,336

2,572

10

37,393

22,387

-40

39,729

24,959

-37

Oshawa

 

1,208

965

-20

936

504

-46

2,144

1,469

-31

Ottawa-Gatineau

2,671

3,164

18

7,776

6,948

-11

10,447

10,112

-3

  Gatineau

 

491

440

-10

972

3,072

216

1,463

3,512

140

  Ottawa

 

2,180

2,724

25

6,804

3,876

-43

8,984

6,600

-27

Peterborough

117

119

2

84

1,140

##

201

1,259

##

Québec

 

756

830

10

10,812

8,148

-25

11,568

8,978

-22

Regina

 

219

182

-17

528

60

-89

747

242

-68

Saguenay

 

186

138

-26

360

120

-67

546

258

-53

St. Catharines-Niagara

1,256

667

-47

696

636

-9

1,952

1,303

-33

Saint John

 

127

188

48

864

0

-100

991

188

-81

St. John's

 

356

231

-35

300

72

-76

656

303

-54

Saskatoon

 

713

523

-27

912

192

-79

1,625

715

-56

Sherbrooke

 

387

388

0

432

660

53

819

1,048

28

Thunder Bay

106

56

-47

48

108

125

154

164

6

Toronto

 

5,417

5,247

-3

29,520

27,780

-6

34,937

33,027

-5

Trois-Rivières

234

227

-3

72

384

433

306

611

100

Vancouver

 

3,602

3,616

0

37,896

28,236

-25

41,498

31,852

-23

Victoria

 

675

516

-24

1,788

3,132

75

2,463

3,648

48

Windsor

 

546

760

39

216

4,020

##

762

4,780

##

Winnipeg

 

1,762

1,783

1

6,660

2,952

-56

8,422

4,735

-44

                     

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value 

Source: CMHC



Canadian Housing Market, Canadian Real Estate Market Outlook, Housing Starts, New Developments