Canadian housing starts trend increased in May

OTTAWA, June 8, 2017 — The trend in housing starts was 214,621 units in May 2017, compared to 213,435 units in April 2017, 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.

“Housing starts trended higher in May in Canada’s urban areas”, said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Row and apartment units led the upward move, while construction has slowed for pricier single- and semi-detached houses.”

Monthly highlights

Halifax

Apartment construction continues to drive the residential market in Halifax with year-to-date apartment starts more than double 2016 levels. The single-detached demand is also picking up pace following a couple years of decline. Year-to date, single-detached construction has grown by 16 percent.

Québec

For the Québec area, the gradual decrease in the rate of housing starts which started at the beginning of the year continued in May. Condominium construction remains below the average of recent years and activity in the conventional rental housing segment also seems to be adjusting downward. This decline is occurring in a context where the vacancy rate is on the rise, particularly for newly built projects.

Toronto

In Toronto, total starts trended lower largely as a result of a decrease in single-detached and row units. May marks the first month that single-detached starts have bucked their upward trend since September 2016. This coincides with a noticeable increase in new home listings in the resale market, providing added choice to homebuyers, causing less demand to spill over into the new home market.

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

The trend of housing starts in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (KCW) increased in May due to stronger starts for all types of housing. Single-detached and townhouse starts are higher this year. Demand for these housing types has been strong in the past few months due to the tight resale market and the influx of GTA households looking to purchase a more affordable home. New single-detached prices in KCW are approximately half of the cost of the same type of dwelling in Toronto.

Alberta & Saskatchewan

Housing starts are on the rise this year in most centres in Alberta and Saskatchewan – a good indication these oil and gas-dependent provinces are on the road to recovery. Strengthening labour market conditions in Calgary, Edmonton and Regina have generated more optimism among local homebuilders. In Saskatoon, year-to-date starts declined 25% as builders there remain cautious due to elevated multi-unit inventory.

British Columbia

Housing starts in BC trended higher in May with gains in Kelowna, Abbotsford-Mission and other urban areas off-setting a slower pace in Vancouver and Victoria. Low inventory in both the resale and new home market is fueling new construction with single-detached and multi-family starts leading the way.

Vancouver

Despite a slight downward move in May, overall housing starts for Vancouver are on track to exceed 25,000 new homes this year, nearing the record 27,914 starts set in 2016. The decline from April was almost evenly split between a slowdown in starts of ownership apartments (condos) and rental apartments.

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 194,663 units in May, down from 213,498 units in April. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 10.2 per cent in May to 178,518 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 10.8 per cent to 118,694 units in May and single-detached urban starts decreased by 8.9 per cent, to 59,824 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,145 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.

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Information on this telease:

CMHC media relations

National
Jonathan Rotondo
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2734
jrotondo@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Atlantic
Katherine LeBlanc
902-789-5709
krleblan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Quebec
Catherine Léger
514-283-7972
cléger@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Ontario
Angelina Ritacco
416-218-3320
aritacco@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Prairies
Courtney Gillis
403-515-3012
cgillis@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

British Columbia
Jeanette Wilkinson
604-737-4007
jpwilkin@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional data is available upon request.


 
Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over
 Single-DetachedAll OthersTotal
May 2016May 2017%May 2016May 2017%May 2016May 2017%
Provinces (10,000+) 
N.-L. 99 52 -47 26 16 -38 125 68 -46
P.E.I. 26 39 50 53 18 -66 79 57 -28
N.S. 110 120 9 223 207 -7 333 327 -2
N.B. 86 64 -26 113 100 -12 199 164 -18
Atlantic 321 275 -14 415 341 -18 736 616 -16
Qc 757 674 -11 2,824 2,424 -14 3,581 3,098 -13
Ont. 2,644 2,151 -19 3,765 2,765 -27 6,409 4,916 -23
Man. 170 257 51 246 568 131 416 825 98
Sask. 189 179 -5 65 222 242 254 401 58
Alta. 749 1,095 46 948 1,485 57 1,697 2,580 52
Prairies 1,108 1,531 38 1,259 2,275 81 2,367 3,806 61
B.C. 961 1,049 9 2,001 2,889 44 2,962 3,938 33
Canada (10,000+) 5,791 5,680 -2 10,264 10,694 4 16,055 16,374 2
Metropolitan Areas  
Abbotsford-Mission 49 46 -6 60 89 48 109 135 24
Barrie 96 137 43 46 75 63 142 212 49
Belleville ** 53 ## ** 22 ## ** 75 ##
Brantford 43 35 -19 2 68 ## 45 103 129
Calgary 243 369 52 405 588 45 648 957 48
Edmonton 328 487 48 487 803 65 815 1,290 58
Greater Sudbury 10 18 80 10 0 -100 20 18 -10
Guelph 15 29 93 213 21 -90 228 50 -78
Halifax 57 69 21 189 181 -4 246 250 2
Hamilton 112 34 -70 126 127 1 238 161 -32
Kelowna 64 91 42 155 375 142 219 466 113
Kingston 28 31 11 5 17 240 33 48 45
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 162 111 -31 104 184 77 266 295 11
Lethbridge ** 43 ## ** 14 ## ** 57 ##
London 147 140 -5 387 95 -75 534 235 -56
Moncton 41 30 -27 22 90 309 63 120 90
Montréal 277 294 6 1,726 1,571 -9 2,003 1,865 -7
Oshawa 126 69 -45 90 20 -78 216 89 -59
Ottawa-Gatineau 254 220 -13 441 522 18 695 742 7
Gatineau 18 34 89 128 92 -28 146 126 -14
Ottawa 236 186 -21 313 430 37 549 616 12
Peterborough 40 29 -28 90 8 -91 130 37 -72
Québec 121 78 -36 500 292 -42 621 370 -40
Regina 56 49 -13 38 190 400 94 239 154
Saguenay 32 24 -25 20 29 45 52 53 2
St. Catharines-Niagara 164 116 -29 35 64 83 199 180 -10
Saint John 17 16 -6 1 0 -100 18 16 -11
St. John's 82 38 -54 20 13 -35 102 51 -50
Saskatoon 122 102 -16 4 12 200 126 114 -10
Sherbrooke 17 28 65 58 85 47 75 113 51
Thunder Bay 15 9 -40 8 44 450 23 53 130
Toronto 934 653 -30 1,987 1,296 -35 2,921 1,949 -33
Trois-Rivières 21 16 -24 48 36 -25 69 52 -25
Vancouver 528 461 -13 1,483 2,021 36 2,011 2,482 23
Victoria 87 74 -15 137 105 -23 224 179 -20
Windsor 77 75 -3 122 21 -83 199 96 -52
Winnipeg 158 234 48 240 488 103 398 722 81
Total 4,523 4,308 -5 9,259 9,566 3 13,782 13,874 1

Data for 2016 based on 2011 Census Definitions.
Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

** Belleville and Lethbridge were not metropolitan areas in 2016.
## not calculable/extreme value

 
Preliminary Housing Start Data — Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)  
  Single-Detached All Others Total
April 2017 May 2017 % April 2017 May 2017 % April 2017 May 2017 %
Provinces (10,000+)  
N.L. 457 447 -2 151 181 20 608 628 3
P.E.I. 358 418 17 48 216 350 406 634 56
N.S. 1,005 1,282 28 5,060 2,547 -50 6,065 3,829 -37
N.B. 592 630 6 167 951 469 759 1,581 108
Qc 6,469 5,800 -10 31,888 23,135 -27 38,357 28,935 -25
Ont. 28,612 21,391 -25 42,697 29,897 -30 71,309 51,288 -28
Man. 2,542 3,129 23 2,004 6,816 240 4,546 9,945 119
Sask. 2,084 1,978 -5 1,284 2,664 107 3,368 4,642 38
Alta. 12,513 13,131 5 17,058 17,678 4 29,571 30,809 4
B.C. 11,057 11,618 5 32,745 34,609 6 43,802 46,227 6
Canada (10,000+) 65,689 59,824 -9 133,102 118,694 -11 198,791 178,518 -10
Canada (All Areas) 76,837 71,624 -7 136,665 123,041 -10 213,498 194,663 -9
Metropolitan Areas  
Abbotsford-Mission 441 527 20 780 1,068 37 1,221 1,595 31
Barrie 56 1,006 ## 648 900 39 704 1,906 171
Belleville 380 358 -6 132 264 100 512 622 21
Brantford 59 280 375 168 816 386 227 1,096 383
Calgary 4,669 4,783 2 8,364 7,056 -16 13,033 11,839 -9
Edmonton 4,401 5,885 34 6,444 9,636 50 10,845 15,521 43
Greater Sudbury 151 169 12 48 0 -100 199 169 -15
Guelph 280 346 24 1,080 252 -77 1,360 598 -56
Halifax 606 661 9 4,848 2,172 -55 5,454 2,833 -48
Hamilton 186 252 35 2,280 1,524 -33 2,466 1,776 -28
Kelowna 1,287 1,100 -15 3,516 4,500 28 4,803 5,600 17
Kingston 263 314 19 288 204 -29 551 518 -6
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 1,576 1,390 -12 948 2,208 133 2,524 3,598 43
Lethbridge 457 505 11 168 168 - 625 673 8
London 1,737 1,349 -22 456 1,140 150 2,193 2,489 13
Moncton 194 235 21 120 1,080 ## 314 1,315 319
Montréal 2,682 2,746 2 17,347 18,001 4 20,029 20,747 4
Oshawa 1,031 724 -30 84 240 186 1,115 964 -14
Ottawa-Gatineau 1,780 2,119 19 5,112 6,264 23 6,892 8,383 22
Gatineau 191 388 103 972 1,104 14 1,163 1,492 28
Ottawa 1,589 1,731 9 4,140 5,160 25 5,729 6,891 20
Peterborough 420 268 -36 132 96 -27 552 364 -34
Québec 700 643 -8 6,240 3,504 -44 6,940 4,147 -40
Regina 991 711 -28 756 2,280 202 1,747 2,991 71
Saguenay 220 205 -7 240 348 45 460 553 20
St. Catharines-Niagara 1,640 1,359 -17 876 768 -12 2,516 2,127 -15
Saint John 168 158 -6 0 0 - 168 158 -6
St. John's 340 333 -2 72 156 117 412 489 19
Saskatoon 1,184 1,000 -16 276 144 -48 1,460 1,144 -22
Sherbrooke 306 315 3 948 1,020 8 1,254 1,335 6
Thunder Bay 66 107 62 48 528 ## 114 635 457
Toronto 12,377 7,034 -43 28,224 15,552 -45 40,601 22,586 -44
Trois-Rivières 198 133 -33 360 432 20 558 565 1
Vancouver 4,619 4,881 6 24,852 24,252 -2 29,471 29,133 -1
Victoria 947 1,075 14 1,560 1,260 -19 2,507 2,335 -7
Windsor 1,061 838 -21 240 252 5 1,301 1,090 -16
Winnipeg 2,286 2,650 16 1,920 5,856 205 4,206 8,506 102

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

Canada

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