Brand new website coming soon. Learn MoreClose

Canadian housing starts trend stable in April

OTTAWA, May 8, 2018 — The trend in housing starts was 225,696 units in April 2018, compared to 226,942 units in March 2018, 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.

“In April, the national trend in housing starts remained stable at historically elevated levels, with lower starts of single-detached dwellings offsetting higher starts of multi-unit dwellings,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Notably, the national inventory of newly completed and unabsorbed multi-unit dwellings has been stable over the same period, indicating that demand for this type of unit has absorbed increased supply.”

Monthly highlights

Vancouver

Housing starts in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) continued their strong trend throughout April. Year-to-date starts were up for both single and multi-family units as builders continue to maintain a high level of under construction inventory in response to high demand in the apartment and condominium markets. The City of Vancouver and the North Shore have seen the strongest activity so far in 2018.

Kelowna

Housing starts activity in the Kelowna CMA picked up significantly in April, driven in large part by the multi-unit segment. The recovery in housing starts activity, almost rivalling the record starts seen in April 2017, was the result of some large apartment rental and condo projects getting underway. Multi-unit housing demand, both rental and ownership, remains strong in the Kelowna CMA, while vacancy rates and homes listed for sale remain low.

Saskatoon

The pace of total housing starts slowed further in April after construction in both single-detached and multi-family sectors trended lower from the previous month. Year-to-date housing starts in Saskatoon were down by 36%, compared to the same period of 2017.

London

In April, starts in the London CMA trended higher for the first time in five months. Rental apartment starts proved to be the most notable engine of growth this month, followed by single-detached and row starts. Although starts have moved off their recent peak, they remain in the vicinity of decade highs. Strong spillover demand from a tight resale market has kept new construction robust.

Toronto

The total housing starts trend in the Toronto CMA remained virtually unchanged in April. High house prices continued to deter buyers from purchasing single, semi-detached and townhome pre-construction units, and this lower demand has resulted in fewer starts for these types of units. Conversely, condominium apartments’ relative affordability continues to fuel their demand. As a result, the first quarter of 2018 saw the most apartment starts recorded in a quarter in over 40 years.

Kingston

Housing starts in Kingston trended higher in April, as more single-detached and multi-unit housing starts, including rental apartments, got underway. In fact, builders have started more rental projects for the third month in a row in anticipation of stronger rental demand from students and an aging population. Kingston’s vacancy rate at 0.7% in fall 2017 was the lowest among 16 Ontario CMAs.

Montréal

Housing starts increased sharply in the Montréal CMA in April, thanks to the start of construction on a number of large condominium projects and rental properties. From January to April, a 20-year record number of condominiums and rental units were started. The strength of the job market, which is supporting housing demand, combined with both the small number of condominiums for sale and the area’s low rental apartment vacancy rate are likely encouraging developers to build many new units.

New Brunswick

While housing starts in the province increased in April compared to the same month last year, New Brunswick has seen its slowest first four months in 20 years. Year-to-date, total housing starts were 41% lower compared to the first four months of 2017 due to a decline in multiples housing starts.

Prince Edward Island

A low vacancy rate paired with continued in-migration to the Charlottetown area is driving demand for multiple units so far in 2018. The volatile multiple segment was up considerably on the inclusion of recent new project construction activity.

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 214,379 units in April, down from 225,459 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 4.7% in April to 198,090 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 2.7% to 141,032 units in April while single-detached urban starts decreased by 9.3% to 57,058 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,289 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.

For more information, follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on this release:

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

 
Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over
Single-Detached All Others Total
Apr. 2017 Apr. 2018 % Apr. 2017 Apr. 2018 % Apr. 2017 Apr. 2018 %
Provinces (10,000+)
N.-L. 21 26 24 8 5 -38 29 31 7
P.E.I. 23 23 - 4 87 ## 27 110 307
N.S. 51 57 12 418 167 -60 469 224 -52
N.B. 21 19 -10 12 28 133 33 47 42
Atlantic 116 125 8 442 287 -35 558 412 -26
Qc 680 645 -5 2,455 3,625 48 3,135 4,270 36
Ont. 2,039 1,615 -21 3,519 3,542 1 5,558 5,157 -7
Man. 252 177 -30 180 266 48 432 443 3
Sask. 198 87 -56 97 67 -31 295 154 -48
Alta. 1,107 967 -13 1,439 1,286 -11 2,546 2,253 -12
Prairies 1,557 1,231 -21 1,716 1,619 -6 3,273 2,850 -13
B.C. 947 839 -11 2,726 2,440 -10 3,673 3,279 -11
Canada (10,000+) 5,339 4,455 -17 10,858 11,513 6 16,197 15,968 -1
Metropolitan Areas                  
Abbotsford-Mission 42 14 -67 65 22 -66 107 36 -66
Barrie 3 15 400 54 214 296 57 229 302
Belleville 42 19 -55 11 4 -64 53 23 -57
Brantford 6 31 417 14 4 -71 20 35 75
Calgary 402 341 -15 697 862 24 1,099 1,203 9
Edmonton 357 453 27 537 369 -31 894 822 -8
Greater Sudbury 1 7 ## 4 4 - 5 11 120
Guelph 20 6 -70 90 48 -47 110 54 -51
Halifax 34 39 15 404 150 -63 438 189 -57
Hamilton 17 66 288 190 566 198 207 632 205
Kelowna 110 67 -39 293 315 8 403 382 -5
Kingston 15 25 67 24 32 33 39 57 46
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 109 50 -54 79 56 -29 188 106 -44
Lethbridge 34 24 -29 14 18 29 48 42 -13
London 136 154 13 38 213 461 174 367 111
Moncton 6 9 50 10 6 -40 16 15 -6
Montréal 320 263 -18 1,516 2,653 75 1,836 2,916 59
Oshawa 63 121 92 7 0 -100 70 121 73
Ottawa-Gatineau 127 187 47 426 403 -5 553 590 7
Gatineau 9 25 178 81 35 -57 90 60 -33
Ottawa 118 162 37 345 368 7 463 530 14
Peterborough 33 31 -6 11 0 -100 44 31 -30
Québec 93 83 -11 520 222 -57 613 305 -50
Regina 88 24 -73 63 36 -43 151 60 -60
Saguenay 18 17 -6 20 33 65 38 50 32
St. Catharines-Niagara 114 64 -44 73 181 148 187 245 31
Saint John 10 3 -70 0 0 - 10 3 -70
St. John's 17 21 24 6 4 -33 23 25 9
Saskatoon 96 48 -50 23 15 -35 119 63 -47
Sherbrooke 33 30 -9 79 98 24 112 128 14
Thunder Bay 1 0 -100 4 0 -100 5 0 -100
Toronto 915 520 -43 2,352 1,638 -30 3,267 2,158 -34
Trois-Rivières 24 15 -38 30 130 333 54 145 169
Vancouver 409 402 -2 2,071 1,567 -24 2,480 1,969 -21
Victoria 85 82 -4 130 189 45 215 271 26
Windsor 97 54 -44 20 14 -30 117 68 -42
Winnipeg 220 153 -30 160 232 45 380 385 1
Total 4,097 3,438 -16 10,035 10,298 3 14,132 13,736 -3

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value

Preliminary Housing Start Data — Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)
  Single-Detached All Others Total
Mar. 2018 Apr. 2018 % Mar. 2018 Apr. 2018 % Mar. 2018 Apr. 2018 %
Provinces (10,000+)  
N.L. 809 654 -19 4,959 94 -98 5,768 748 -87
P.E.I. 462 331 -28 72 1,044 ## 534 1,375 157
N.S. 1,913 1,005 -47 443 2,057 364 2,356 3,062 30
N.B. 620 562 -9 167 360 116 787 922 17
Qc 6,543 6,092 -7 40,335 45,842 14 46,878 51,934 11
Ont. 27,355 24,059 -12 43,754 42,625 -3 71,109 66,684 -6
Man. 2,466 1,927 -22 4,452 3,192 -28 6,918 5,119 -26
Sask. 1,353 955 -29 288 804 179 1,641 1,759 7
Alta. 11,943 12,023 1 13,372 15,714 18 25,315 27,737 10
B.C. 9,441 9,450 0 37,100 29,300 -21 46,541 38,750 -17
Canada (10,000+) 62,905 57,058 -9 144,942 141,032 -3 207,847 198,090 -5
Canada (All Areas) 76,357 69,093 -10 149,103 145,286 -3 225,459 214,379 -5
Metropolitan Areas                  
Abbotsford-Mission 284 157 -45 948 264 -72 1,232 421 -66
Barrie 1,262 367 -71 312 2,568 ## 1,574 2,935 86
Belleville 554 209 -62 72 48 -33 626 257 -59
Brantford 307 320 4 48 48 - 355 368 4
Calgary 4,288 4,482 5 6,300 10,344 64 10,588 14,826 40
Edmonton 5,118 5,646 10 3,360 4,428 32 8,478 10,074 19
Greater Sudbury 50 472 ## 0 48 ## 50 520 ##
Guelph 160 81 -49 720 576 -20 880 657 -25
Halifax 799 728 -9 192 1,800 ## 991 2,528 155
Hamilton 321 836 160 696 6,792 ## 1,017 7,628 ##
Kelowna 837 757 -10 1,296 3,780 192 2,133 4,537 113
Kingston 513 422 -18 48 384 ## 561 806 44
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 1,505 639 -58 3,828 672 -82 5,333 1,311 -75
Lethbridge 412 396 -4 180 216 20 592 612 3
London 2,064 2,015 -2 276 2,556 ## 2,340 4,571 95
Moncton 297 243 -18 24 72 200 321 315 -2
Montréal 2,553 2,373 -7 17,639 30,562 73 20,192 32,935 63
Oshawa 1,878 1,930 3 792 0 -100 2,670 1,930 -28
Ottawa-Gatineau 4,063 3,156 -22 2,892 4,836 67 6,955 7,992 15
Gatineau 545 575 6 384 420 9 929 995 7
Ottawa 3,518 2,581 -27 2,508 4,416 76 6,026 6,997 16
Peterborough 614 390 -36 0 0 - 614 390 -36
Québec 976 731 -25 5,784 2,664 -54 6,760 3,395 -50
Regina 468 277 -41 72 432 ## 540 709 31
Saguenay 214 211 -1 192 396 106 406 607 50
St. Catharines-Niagara 912 894 -2 1,440 2,172 51 2,352 3,066 30
Saint John 172 66 -62 0 0 - 172 66 -62
St. John's 537 479 -11 1,116 48 -96 1,653 527 -68
Saskatoon 725 612 -16 156 180 15 881 792 -10
Sherbrooke 352 283 -20 1,416 1,176 -17 1,768 1,459 -17
Thunder Bay 133 7 -95 0 0 - 133 7 -95
Toronto 10,034 7,112 -29 28,512 19,656 -31 38,546 26,768 -31
Trois-Rivières 252 134 -47 120 1,560 ## 372 1,694 355
Vancouver 4,557 4,562 0 27,828 18,804 -32 32,385 23,366 -28
Victoria 533 1,030 93 3,048 2,268 -26 3,581 3,298 -8
Windsor 486 493 1 96 168 75 582 661 14
Winnipeg 2,000 1,596 -20 4,020 2,784 -31 6,020 4,380 -27

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value

Canada

Share...


Print(opens in a new window)