The national trend in housing starts resumed its downward trajectory in February while still remaining above historical average. Both single-detached and multi-unit dwellings starts trended lower. Higher mortgage rates combined with still-favourable, but less stimulative economic conditions have contributed to softer demand on new home markets in urban centres.
The trend in housing starts was 203,554 units in February 2019, compared to 207,742 units in January 2019. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 173,153 units in February, down 16.3% from 206,809 units in January. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 18.0% in February to 155,663 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 20.2% to 116,284 units in February while single-detached urban starts decreased by 10.6% to 39,379 units.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,490 units.