Canadian Housing Starts Decline 1.0% Month-Over-Month in April

On Wednesday, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported that the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for housing starts in Canada decreased 1.0% in April to 240,229 units, down from 242,267 units in March.

The six-month trend in housing starts decreased 2.2%, from 243,907 units in March to 238,585 units in April. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada.

The actual number of housing starts across Canada in centers of 10,000 population and over was down 9.0% to 18,486 units in April, compared to 20,231 units in April 2023. The year-over-year increase was driven by an 11.0% decrease in multi-unit starts. Single-detached starts increased 3.0%.

The rural starts monthly SAAR estimate was 20,106 units.

In remarks accompanying the report, CMHC Chief Economist Bob Dugan said:

“Both the SAAR and trend of housing starts decreased in April as did the actual number of starts, largely driven by fewer multi-unit starts, particularly in Ontario. The multi-unit volatility observed in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal in recent months is unsurprising as we continue to see last year’s challenging borrowing conditions reflected in multi-unit housing starts numbers. We expect to see continued downward pressure in these large centers.”

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