Housing starts facilitate analysis of monthly, quarterly and year-over-year activity in the new home market. We define a housing start as the beginning of construction work on the building where the dwelling unit will be located.
Our Monthly Housing Starts and Other Construction data tables are issued on the 11th working day of the month. Exact release dates can be found in our Reports Calendar.
You can also view this data on our Housing Market Information Portal.
December Monthly Housing Starts key highlights
- The trend in housing starts was 260,567 units in December 2021, down from 267,606 units in November 2021.
- For SAAR housing starts in Canada’s urban areas, both single-detached and multi-family starts decreased in December. Actual urban housing starts were 21% higher in 2021, driven by increases in both single-detached (28%) and multi-family (19%) starts.
- On a trend and monthly SAAR basis, the level of housing starts activity in Canada remains high in historical terms.
- Among Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal, Vancouver was the only market to post growth in total SAAR starts in December. This was due to higher single-detached and multi-family starts.
December Standalone Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR)
- The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 236,106 units in December. This is a decrease of 22% from 303,813 units in November.
- The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 24% in December to 212,918 units.
- Multiple urban starts decreased by 29% to 157,687 units in December, while single-detached urban starts decreased by 4% to 55,231 units.
- Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,188 units.
- Document Type:
- Date Published:
- January 18, 2022
About Monthly Housing Starts and Construction Data
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:
- It’s usually the stage when the concrete has been poured for the whole of the footing around the structure.
- An equivalent stage where a basement will not be part of the structure.
Housing starts statistics are organized to facilitate an analysis of monthly, quarterly and year-over-year changes. Actual and seasonally-adjusted housing starts data are presented separately. Select under construction and absorption data are also included.
Housing starts, construction and absorption data are used to gain insight into the level of activity and supply conditions in the new home market.
Actual and seasonally adjusted housing starts data are presented separately by region, province, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and dwelling type. Select data on under construction and absorption are also included.
These monthly housing data tables reflect:
- current statistics
- new home starts
- construction activity
Data source: CMHC Starts and Completions Survey and Market Absorption Survey.
About the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR)
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.
The time of year can be a factor when collecting data. We calculate the SAAR by:
- Using a rate adjustment to remove the data’s seasonal variations.
- Multiplying the seasonally adjusted level of starts by 12 to obtain the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of housing starts.