Canadian Housing Starts Jump To Highest Level Since 2007

  7/11/2019 |   SHARE
Posted in Canadian Housing Market by Michael Antczak| Back to Main Blog Page

Single House New Build Framing

The trend in housing starts was 205,838 units in June 2019, compared to 200,530 units in May 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 June, primarily due to higher trending row and apartment starts, in urban areas," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "The strong surge in the SAAR of apartment starts in April is also contributing to the high level of the trend measure of total housing starts in June".

Monthly Highlights

Vancouver
Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) housing starts trended higher in June, due to increased housing starts in the multi-unit sector. The majority of the multi-unit housing starts were concentrated in the City of Vancouver and the City of Richmond. Overall, the year-to-date starts increased by about 25%, supported by population growth and continuous strengthening of economic fundamentals.

Edmonton
Housing starts in Edmonton CMA trended higher in June, with single-detached starts declining slightly while multi-units starts doubled compared to the same month last year. With a high level of unsold inventory, the year-to-date starts saw a decline compared to the same period last year, as builders shift focus from starting new projects to completing existing ones while the economy continues to recover from the economic downturn.

Lethbridge
In the Lethbridge CMA, total starts trended higher in June 2019 compared to the previous month. The respective trend increased across all types of housing units in June. Construction activities picked up as the demand for new homes increased supported by growth in the millennial population.

Saskatoon
The trend measure of total housing starts in Saskatoon rose further in June after homebuilders increased the pace of multi-unit construction. While the trend moved higher, actual starts of all housing types decreased by 16% during the first six months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. A number of factors, including higher construction costs and weaker new home demand, have contributed to builders scaling back production of new housing units so far this year.

Winnipeg
In June 2019, the trend in total housing starts in the Winnipeg CMA trended higher compared to the previous month. For the first half of 2019, total starts trended 15% higher compared to same period the previous year, driven mainly by apartment starts. The 89% increase in apartment starts for the first half of 2019 supports the growing demand for rental accommodations in the CMA. Single-detached, semi-detached and row starts all trended lower in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

Greater Sudbury
The trend for overall housing starts in the Greater Sudbury CMA moved higher in June, owing to an increase in the trend for semi-detached starts. Semi-detached units are not readily available in the local resale market and tend to come at a more affordable price point for prospective first-time buyers looking for a new build.

Kingston
Following a strong performance in 2018, the actual total starts in Kingston CMA during the first half of 2019 were down 14% from a year earlier. The decline was most pronounced in the multi-unit segment due to substantially lower starts of semi-detached and rows, while the number of apartment starts was almost on par with the previous year. In response to the persistently low vacancy rates over the past ten years, all apartment starts through June 2019were rental.

Toronto
The total housing starts trend in the Toronto CMA remained virtually unchanged in June from the previous month with row and semi-detached home starts trending slightly lower, while apartment and single-detached homes trending slightly higher. Overall, multi-unit home starts continue to dominate construction so far this year as more homebuyers choose lower priced condominium apartments and row houses over higher priced single-detached homes.

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo
Total housing starts in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo trended up in June. The increase came from higher starts of multi-unit homes (semi-detached, rows and apartments), as single-detached starts went in the opposite direction. Apartment starts continue to dominate, largely owing to the development occurring around the new light rail transit line. The moderation in single-detached starts can be linked back to low pre-construction sales in the second half of 2018.

Sherbrooke
Residential construction in the Sherbrooke CMA has been particularly strong since the beginning of the year. In fact, 984 housing units were started in the area during the first half of 2019—the highest level in over 30 years. The increase in activity was attributable mainly to the rental housing segment, as both purpose-built and seniors' rental housing projects got under way. Overall, residential construction in the area has continued to be supported by the rise in full-time employment, migration and the aging of the population.

Québec
From January to June 2019, foundations were laid for nearly 2,600 housing units in the greater Québec city area, a number similar to that recorded during the same period in 2018. Once again this year, activity was supported mainly by the construction of rental housing, which accounted for about two thirds of the dwellings started. This market segment has been stimulated by several factors, including greater demand for apartments due to the aging population.

Halifax
Total housing starts in Halifax continue to gain momentum in June, expanding by 45% year-over-year. The apartment segment remains the dominate driver of residential construction as strong population growth, especially apparent in the young adult population, and historically low vacancy rates support demand. The number of apartment units that broke ground this month reached the highest peak since 2015, as multi-unit starts year-to-date climbed by 62% compared to the same period last year.

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 245,657 units in June, up 26% from 196,809 units in May. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 26% in June to 234,238 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 31% to 185,804 units in June while single-detached urban starts increased by 8% to 48,434 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 11,419 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data are also available in English and French through our website and through CMHC's Housing Market Information Portal. Our analysts are also available to provide further insight into their respective markets.

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   
   

June 2018

June 2019

%

June 2018

June 2019

%

June 2018

June 2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.-L.

 

82

64

-22

10

26

160

92

90

-2

P.E.I.

 

31

35

13

42

93

121

73

128

75

N.S.

 

184

172

-7

324

488

51

508

660

30

N.B.

 

121

92

-24

170

370

118

291

462

59

Atlantic

 

418

363

-13

546

977

79

964

1,340

39

Qc

 

804

774

-4

4,061

4,500

11

4,865

5,274

8

Ont.

 

2,355

2,057

-13

6,871

4,063

-41

9,226

6,120

-34

Man.

 

209

194

-7

282

579

105

491

773

57

Sask.

 

134

117

-13

102

124

22

236

241

2

Alta.

 

1,032

949

-8

1,176

1,741

48

2,208

2,690

22

Prairies

 

1,375

1,260

-8

1,560

2,444

57

2,935

3,704

26

B.C.

 

908

778

-14

2,055

4,332

111

2,963

5,110

72

Canada (10,000+)

5,860

5,232

-11

15,093

16,316

8

20,953

21,548

3

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

31

38

23

16

32

100

47

70

49

Barrie

 

40

26

-35

254

0

-100

294

26

-91

Belleville

 

51

53

4

6

28

367

57

81

42

Brantford

 

58

4

-93

4

5

25

62

9

-85

Calgary

 

360

310

-14

707

801

13

1,067

1,111

4

Edmonton

 

475

467

-2

387

838

117

862

1,305

51

Greater Sudbury

26

13

-50

11

12

9

37

25

-32

Guelph

 

29

51

76

78

13

-83

107

64

-40

Halifax

 

110

108

-2

281

460

64

391

568

45

Hamilton

 

48

58

21

498

97

-81

546

155

-72

Kelowna

 

91

65

-29

210

183

-13

301

248

-18

Kingston

 

47

53

13

180

0

-100

227

53

-77

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

94

84

-11

203

243

20

297

327

10

Lethbridge

 

33

32

-3

13

30

131

46

62

35

London

 

130

131

1

480

311

-35

610

442

-28

Moncton

 

37

26

-30

58

209

260

95

235

147

Montréal

 

328

273

-17

2,484

3,159

27

2,812

3,432

22

Oshawa

 

214

192

-10

129

78

-40

343

270

-21

Ottawa-Gatineau

367

297

-19

812

648

-20

1,179

945

-20

Gatineau

 

25

34

36

204

81

-60

229

115

-50

Ottawa

 

342

263

-23

608

567

-7

950

830

-13

Peterborough

 

54

17

-69

5

7

40

59

24

-59

Québec

 

95

103

8

812

901

11

907

1,004

11

Regina

 

37

26

-30

41

44

7

78

70

-10

Saguenay

 

37

29

-22

22

30

36

59

59

-

St. Catharines-Niagara

60

122

103

87

58

-33

147

180

22

Saint John

 

33

20

-39

0

72

##

33

92

179

St. John's

 

66

50

-24

7

25

257

73

75

3

Saskatoon

 

88

81

-8

43

76

77

131

157

20

Sherbrooke

 

51

79

55

114

36

-68

165

115

-30

Thunder Bay

 

22

21

-5

8

4

-50

30

25

-17

Toronto

 

600

555

-8

4,116

2,460

-40

4,716

3,015

-36

Trois-Rivières

25

39

56

42

6

-86

67

45

-33

Vancouver

 

422

331

-22

1,045

3,158

202

1,467

3,489

138

Victoria

 

94

70

-26

418

149

-64

512

219

-57

Windsor

 

73

73

-

23

18

-22

96

91

-5

Winnipeg

 

167

166

-1

239

555

132

406

721

78

Total

 

4,493

4,063

-10

13,833

14,746

7

18,326

18,809

3

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

   

May 2019

June 2019

%

May 2019

June 2019

%

May 2019

June
2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.L.

 

333

463

39

153

247

61

486

710

46

P.E.I.

 

208

271

30

648

1,116

72

856

1,387

62

N.S.

 

1,350

1,424

5

1,797

5,857

226

3,147

7,281

131

N.B.

 

519

595

15

1,306

4,398

237

1,825

4,993

174

Qc

 

5,959

6,218

4

41,051

46,572

13

47,010

52,790

12

Ont.

 

16,913

18,175

7

31,173

47,151

51

48,086

65,326

36

Man.

 

2,018

2,134

6

6,132

6,948

13

8,150

9,082

11

Sask.

 

1,075

1,092

2

1,044

1,488

43

2,119

2,580

22

Alta.

 

8,768

9,972

14

12,304

20,094

63

21,072

30,066

43

B.C.

 

7,627

8,090

6

46,038

51,933

13

53,665

60,023

12

Canada (10,000+)

44,770

48,434

8

141,646

185,804

31

186,416

234,238

26

Canada (All Areas)

52,437

56,503

8

144,372

189,156

31

196,809

245,657

25

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

465

422

-9

1,320

384

-71

1,785

806

-55

Barrie

 

105

146

39

156

0

-100

261

146

-44

Belleville

 

450

460

2

144

336

133

594

796

34

Brantford

 

146

95

-35

60

60

-

206

155

-25

Calgary

 

3,345

3,203

-4

6,216

9,612

55

9,561

12,815

34

Edmonton

 

3,491

4,699

35

3,120

10,056

222

6,611

14,755

123

Greater Sudbury

89

82

-8

48

144

200

137

226

65

Guelph

 

309

308

0

192

156

-19

501

464

-7

Halifax

 

822

804

-2

1,500

5,520

268

2,322

6,324

172

Hamilton

 

419

563

34

2,520

1,164

-54

2,939

1,727

-41

Kelowna

 

422

706

67

624

2,196

252

1,046

2,902

177

Kingston

 

311

373

20

144

0

-100

455

373

-18

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

661

814

23

1,020

2,916

186

1,681

3,730

122

Lethbridge

 

264

368

39

144

360

150

408

728

78

London

 

1,337

1,099

-18

648

3,732

476

1,985

4,831

143

Moncton

 

169

162

-4

1,212

2,508

107

1,381

2,670

93

Montréal

 

2,291

2,310

1

23,159

37,387

61

25,450

39,697

56

Oshawa

 

2,393

1,193

-50

1,824

936

-49

4,217

2,129

-50

Ottawa-Gatineau

3,058

2,677

-12

10,536

7,776

-26

13,594

10,453

-23

Gatineau

 

562

507

-10

5,484

972

-82

6,046

1,479

-76

Ottawa

 

2,496

2,170

-13

5,052

6,804

35

7,548

8,974

19

Peterborough

206

118

-43

1,068

84

-92

1,274

202

-84

Québec

 

787

741

-6

8,028

10,812

35

8,815

11,553

31

Regina

 

145

234

61

144

528

267

289

762

164

Saguenay

 

249

191

-23

252

360

43

501

551

10

St. Catharines-Niagara

791

1,232

56

1,488

696

-53

2,279

1,928

-15

Saint John

 

143

121

-15

24

864

##

167

985

490

St. John's

 

247

356

44

156

300

92

403

656

63

Saskatoon

 

766

735

-4

876

912

4

1,642

1,647

0

Sherbrooke

 

322

385

20

1,116

432

-61

1,438

817

-43

Thunder Bay

101

111

10

96

48

-50

197

159

-19

Toronto

 

3,789

5,478

45

16,404

29,520

80

20,193

34,998

73

Trois-Rivières

232

236

2

456

72

-84

688

308

-55

Vancouver

 

3,589

3,608

1

39,072

37,896

-3

42,661

41,504

-3

Victoria

 

622

674

8

1,704

1,788

5

2,326

2,462

6

Windsor

 

553

521

-6

264

216

-18

817

737

-10

Winnipeg

 

1,718

1,755

2

5,832

6,660

14

7,550

8,415

11

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.

               

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

               

## not calculable / extreme value

                   

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation



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