Canadian Housing Starts Trend Stable in April

  5/8/2018 |   SHARE
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CMHC News

The trend in housing starts was 225,696 units in April 2018, compared to 226,942 units in March 2018, 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.

"In April, the national trend in housing starts remained stable at historically elevated levels, with lower starts of single-detached dwellings offsetting higher starts of multi-unit dwellings," saidBob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist. "Notably, the national inventory of newly completed and unabsorbed multi-unit dwellings has been stable over the same period, indicating that demand for this type of unit has absorbed increased supply."

Monthly Highlights

Vancouver
Housing starts in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) continued their strong trend throughout April. Year-to-date starts were up for both single and multi-family units as builders continue to maintain a high level of under construction inventory in response to high demand in the apartment and condominium markets. The City of Vancouver and the North Shore have seen the strongest activity so far in 2018.

Kelowna
Housing starts activity in the Kelowna CMA picked up significantly in April, driven in large part by the multi-unit segment. The recovery in housing starts activity, almost rivaling the record starts seen in April 2017, was the result of some large apartment rental and condo projects getting underway. Multi-unit housing demand, both rental and ownership, remains strong in the Kelowna CMA, while vacancy rates and homes listed for sale remain low.

Saskatoon
The pace of total housing starts slowed further in April after construction in both single-detached and multi-family sectors trended lower from the previous month. Year-to-date housing starts in Saskatoon were down by 36%, compared to the same period of 2017.

London
In April, starts in the London CMA trended higher for the first time in five months. Rental apartment starts proved to be the most notable engine of growth this month, followed by single-detached and row starts. Although starts have moved off their recent peak, they remain in the vicinity of decade highs. Strong spillover demand from a tight resale market has kept new construction robust.

Toronto
The total housing starts trend in the Toronto CMA remained virtually unchanged in April. High house prices continued to deter buyers from purchasing single, semi-detached and townhome pre-construction units, and this lower demand has resulted in fewer starts for these types of units. Conversely, condominium apartments' relative affordability continues to fuel their demand. As a result, the first quarter of 2018 saw the most apartment starts recorded in a quarter in over 40 years.

Kingston
Housing starts in Kingston trended higher in April, as more single-detached and multi-unit housing starts, including rental apartments, got underway. In fact, builders have started more rental projects for the third month in a row in anticipation of stronger rental demand from students and an aging population. Kingston's vacancy rate at 0.7% in fall 2017 was the lowest among 16 Ontario CMAs.

Montréal
Housing starts increased sharply in the Montréal CMA in April, thanks to the start of construction on a number of large condominium projects and rental properties. From January to April, a 20-year record number of condominiums and rental units were started. The strength of the job market, which is supporting housing demand, combined with both the small number of condominiums for sale and the area's low rental apartment vacancy rate are likely encouraging developers to build many new units.

New Brunswick
While housing starts in the province increased in April compared to the same month last year, New Brunswick has seen its slowest first four months in 20 years. Year-to-date, total housing starts were 41% lower compared to the first four months of 2017 due to a decline in multiples housing starts.

Prince Edward Island
A low vacancy rate paired with continued in-migration to the Charlottetown area is driving demand for multiple units so far in 2018. The volatile multiple segment was up considerably on the inclusion of recent new project construction activity.

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 214,379 units in April, down from 225,459 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 4.7% in April to 198,090 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 2.7% to 141,032 units in April while single-detached urban starts decreased by 9.3% to 57,058 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,289 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

 
 

April 2017

April 2018

%

April 2017

April 2018

%

April 2017

April 2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

N.-L.

21

26

24

8

5

-38

29

31

7

P.E.I.   

23

23

-

4

87

##

27

110

307

N.S.   

51

57

12

418

167

-60

469

224

-52

N.B.   

21

19

-10

12

28

133

33

47

42

Atlantic

116

125

8

442

287

-35

558

412

-26

Qc

680

645

-5

2,455

3,625

48

3,135

4,270

36

Ont.   

2,039

1,615

-21

3,519

3,542

1

5,558

5,157

-7

Man.   

252

177

-30

180

266

48

432

443

3

Sask.   

198

87

-56

97

67

-31

295

154

-48

Alta.   

1,107

967

-13

1,439

1,286

-11

2,546

2,253

-12

Prairies

1,557

1,231

-21

1,716

1,619

-6

3,273

2,850

-13

B.C.   

947

839

-11

2,726

2,440

-10

3,673

3,279

-11

Canada (10,000+)

5,339

4,455

-17

10,858

11,513

6

16,197

15,968

-1

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

42

14

-67

65

22

-66

107

36

-66

Barrie

3

15

400

54

214

296

57

229

302

Belleville

42

19

-55

11

4

-64

53

23

-57

Brantford

6

31

417

14

4

-71

20

35

75

Calgary

402

341

-15

697

862

24

1,099

1,203

9

Edmonton

357

453

27

537

369

-31

894

822

-8

Greater Sudbury

1

7

##

4

4

-

5

11

120

Guelph

20

6

-70

90

48

-47

110

54

-51

Halifax

34

39

15

404

150

-63

438

189

-57

Hamilton

17

66

288

190

566

198

207

632

205

Kelowna

110

67

-39

293

315

8

403

382

-5

Kingston

15

25

67

24

32

33

39

57

46

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

109

50

-54

79

56

-29

188

106

-44

Lethbridge

34

24

-29

14

18

29

48

42

-13

London

136

154

13

38

213

461

174

367

111

Moncton

6

9

50

10

6

-40

16

15

-6

Montréal

320

263

-18

1,516

2,653

75

1,836

2,916

59

Oshawa

63

121

92

7

0

-100

70

121

73

Ottawa-Gatineau

127

187

47

426

403

-5

553

590

7

 

Gatineau

9

25

178

81

35

-57

90

60

-33

 

Ottawa

118

162

37

345

368

7

463

530

14

Peterborough

33

31

-6

11

0

-100

44

31

-30

Québec

93

83

-11

520

222

-57

613

305

-50

Regina

88

24

-73

63

36

-43

151

60

-60

Saguenay

18

17

-6

20

33

65

38

50

32

St. Catharines-Niagara

114

64

-44

73

181

148

187

245

31

Saint John

10

3

-70

0

0

-

10

3

-70

St. John's

17

21

24

6

4

-33

23

25

9

Saskatoon

96

48

-50

23

15

-35

119

63

-47

Sherbrooke

33

30

-9

79

98

24

112

128

14

Thunder Bay

1

0

-100

4

0

-100

5

0

-100

Toronto

915

520

-43

2,352

1,638

-30

3,267

2,158

-34

Trois-Rivières

24

15

-38

30

130

333

54

145

169

Vancouver

409

402

-2

2,071

1,567

-24

2,480

1,969

-21

Victoria

85

82

-4

130

189

45

215

271

26

Windsor

97

54

-44

20

14

-30

117

68

-42

Winnipeg

220

153

-30

160

232

45

380

385

1

Total

4,097

3,438

-16

10,035

10,298

3

14,132

13,736

-3

 

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

 

Data for 2018 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

 
 

March 2018

April 2018

%

March 2018

April 2018

%

March 2018

April 2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

N.L.

809

654

-19

4,959

94

-98

5,768

748

-87

P.E.I.   

462

331

-28

72

1,044

##

534

1,375

157

N.S.   

1,913

1,005

-47

443

2,057

364

2,356

3,062

30

N.B.   

620

562

-9

167

360

116

787

922

17

Qc  

6,543

6,092

-7

40,335

45,842

14

46,878

51,934

11

Ont.   

27,355

24,059

-12

43,754

42,625

-3

71,109

66,684

-6

Man.   

2,466

1,927

-22

4,452

3,192

-28

6,918

5,119

-26

Sask.   

1,353

955

-29

288

804

179

1,641

1,759

7

Alta.   

11,943

12,023

1

13,372

15,714

18

25,315

27,737

10

B.C.   

9,441

9,450

0

37,100

29,300

-21

46,541

38,750

-17

Canada (10,000+)

62,905

57,058

-9

144,942

141,032

-3

207,847

198,090

-5

Canada (All Areas)

76,357

69,093

-10

149,103

145,286

-3

225,459

214,379

-5

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

284

157

-45

948

264

-72

1,232

421

-66

Barrie

1,262

367

-71

312

2,568

##

1,574

2,935

86

Belleville

554

209

-62

72

48

-33

626

257

-59

Brantford

307

320

4

48

48

-

355

368

4

Calgary

4,288

4,482

5

6,300

10,344

64

10,588

14,826

40

Edmonton

5,118

5,646

10

3,360

4,428

32

8,478

10,074

19

Greater Sudbury

50

472

##

0

48

##

50

520

##

Guelph

160

81

-49

720

576

-20

880

657

-25

Halifax

799

728

-9

192

1,800

##

991

2,528

155

Hamilton

321

836

160

696

6,792

##

1,017

7,628

##

Kelowna

837

757

-10

1,296

3,780

192

2,133

4,537

113

Kingston

513

422

-18

48

384

##

561

806

44

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

1,505

639

-58

3,828

672

-82

5,333

1,311

-75

Lethbridge

412

396

-4

180

216

20

592

612

3

London

2,064

2,015

-2

276

2,556

##

2,340

4,571

95

Moncton

297

243

-18

24

72

200

321

315

-2

Montréal

2,553

2,373

-7

17,639

30,562

73

20,192

32,935

63

Oshawa

1,878

1,930

3

792

0

-100

2,670

1,930

-28

Ottawa-Gatineau

4,063

3,156

-22

2,892

4,836

67

6,955

7,992

15

 

Gatineau

545

575

6

384

420

9

929

995

7

 

Ottawa

3,518

2,581

-27

2,508

4,416

76

6,026

6,997

16

Peterborough

614

390

-36

0

0

-

614

390

-36

Québec

976

731

-25

5,784

2,664

-54

6,760

3,395

-50

Regina

468

277

-41

72

432

##

540

709

31

Saguenay

214

211

-1

192

396

106

406

607

50

St. Catharines-Niagara

912

894

-2

1,440

2,172

51

2,352

3,066

30

Saint John

172

66

-62

0

0

-

172

66

-62

St. John's

537

479

-11

1,116

48

-96

1,653

527

-68

Saskatoon

725

612

-16

156

180

15

881

792

-10

Sherbrooke

352

283

-20

1,416

1,176

-17

1,768

1,459

-17

Thunder Bay

133

7

-95

0

0

-

133

7

-95

Toronto

10,034

7,112

-29

28,512

19,656

-31

38,546

26,768

-31

Trois-Rivières

252

134

-47

120

1,560

##

372

1,694

355

Vancouver

4,557

4,562

0

27,828

18,804

-32

32,385

23,366

-28

Victoria

533

1,030

93

3,048

2,268

-26

3,581

3,298

-8

Windsor

486

493

1

96

168

75

582

661

14

Winnipeg

2,000

1,596

-20

4,020

2,784

-31

6,020

4,380

-27

 

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

 

Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

 

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

 

## not calculable / extreme value

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation



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