According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the trend in housing starts was 260,567 units in December, down from 267,606 units in November. This trend measures a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted rates of housing starts in Canada.
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 236,106 units in December, a decline of -22% from 303,813 units in November. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by -24% in December to 212,918 units. Multiple urban starts dropped by -29% to 157,687 units in December, while single-detached urban starts declined by -4% to 55,231 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,188 units.
In remarks prepared for the release of the December Housing Trend report, CMHC’s chief economist Bob Dugan said, “The six-month trend in housing starts was lower from November to December but remains at very high levels. For SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas, both single-detached and multi-family starts decreased in December. On a positive note, actual urban housing starts were 21% higher in 2021, adding much needed supply. The increase was driven by higher single-detached (28%) and multi-family (19%) starts and was mainly due to recovery following COVID-19 shutdown measures in 2020.”
On a trend and monthly SAAR basis, the level of housing starts activity in Canada remains high in historical terms. Among Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, Vancouver was the only market to post growth in total SAAR starts in December, due to higher single-detached and multi-family starts.
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Canadian housing starts trend lower in December Français