Canadian Housing Starts Increase Month-Over-Month in February

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced Wednesday (3-15-23) that the standalone monthly seasonally adjusted rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada increased 13% to 243,959 units in February when compared to 216,514 units in January.

CMHC is reporting that the monthly SAAR of total urban (areas with population of 10,000 and over) starts increased 16% in February, with 222,663 units recorded. Multi-unit starts increased 18% to 173,745 units, and single-detached urban starts increased 8% to 48,918 units. The rural starts monthly SAAR was estimated at 21,296 units.

The trend in housing starts was 255,735 units in February, down 2% from 259,830 units in January. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

Adding additional background and analysis to the report, CMHC’s Chief Economist Bob Dugan said:

“After hitting its lowest level since September 2020, the monthly SAAR of housing starts rebounded in February, while the six-month trend declined slightly. Among Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, only Toronto recorded an increase in total SAAR housing starts in February, up 55%. Montreal declined 31% and Vancouver declined 43%. February’s housing starts provided much needed new housing supply nationally, but in order to improve affordability, we need to find innovative ways to deliver more supply and to keep building at a higher pace.”

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