Housing starts are an economic indicator that reflect the number of residential housing projects that have been started over a specific length of time. These data are divided into 3 types: single-family houses, townhouses or small condos and apartment buildings with 5 or more units.
January monthly housing starts key highlights
- The trend in housing starts was 244,827 units in January 2024, down 2% from 249,757 units in December 2023.
- The trend measure is a 6-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.
- Total SAAR housing starts were up 179% in Toronto, driven by a significant increase in multi-unit starts.
- Montréal and Vancouver both posted declines of 28% and 55%, respectively, due to decreases in multi-unit starts.
January Standalone Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR)
- The standalone monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada in January 2024 was 223,589 units, a decrease of 10% from December 2023.
- The SAAR of total urban starts decreased by 11% in January to 208,119 units.
- Multi-unit urban starts decreased by 14% to 164,789 units in January.
- Single-detached urban starts increased by 0.08% to 43,330 units.
- Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,470 units.
- Document Type:
- Date Published:
- February 15, 2024
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.
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:
- 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.