About Monthly Housing Starts and Construction Data
This enhanced report provides finalized housing data at a single point in time instead of preliminary data that was subject to later revision. It represents the most recent month's activity with data tables organized according to a number of characteristics: by region, province, Census Metropolitan Area, and dwelling type. Housing starts statistics are organized to facilitate an analysis of monthly, quarterly and year–over-year changes, with actual and seasonally-adjusted housing starts data presented separately. Select under construction and absorption data is also included.
We track housing starts to gain insight into housing supply.
A housing start is defined as the beginning of construction work on the building where the dwelling unit will be located. This can be described in 2 ways:
- usually, the stage when the concrete has been poured for the whole of the footing around the structure; or
- an equivalent stage where a basement will not be part of the structure.
Housing starts and construction data is also available on our Housing Market Information Portal. The portal is updated at the same time as this publication release. The Housing Market Information Portal offers housing starts and other housing market information at a more detailed geographic level.
The time of year can be a factor when collecting data.
We use a rate adjustment to remove the data’s seasonal variations. We then multiply the seasonally adjusted level of starts by 12 to obtain the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of housing starts. The SAAR allows you to compare monthly levels to annual levels for different months of the year. It also gives you a sense of the relative strength of monthly activity.
CMHC uses the 6-month moving average SAAR with the monthly SAAR of housing starts to obtain a more complete picture of trends in the market.