Canadian Housing Starts Stable from May to June

Housing starts in Canada were trending at 184,514 units in June compared to 184,087 in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.

“As expected, the trend in total housing starts remained essentially stable in June, for a third consecutive month. This reflects general stability in regional trends over the same period. As a result, the trend in national housing activity remains close to its historical average and is in-line with estimates of household formation,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC. “In June, gains in housing starts in British Columbia were offset by declines in other regions of the country.”

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 the state of the housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 199,586 units in June, a decrease from 204,616 in May. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 2.7 per cent in June to 177,085 units, as both the single and multiple urban starts segments declined in June. Specifically, single urban starts decreased by 4.1 per cent to 62,743 units in June while the multiple urban starts segment decreased by 2.0 per cent to 114,342 units.

June’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia. Urban starts decreased in all other regions, including Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,501 units in June.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link:Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

2 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.

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