Canadian Housing Starts Continue Upward Trend in November

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 208,401 units in November compared to 206,125 in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The trend in housing starts increased for a seventh consecutive month due to the multi-unit segment,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Rising single home prices continue to support demand for multiples, which are poised to reach the largest proportion of total urban starts since 1971. However, inventory management is necessary to make sure that these units do not remain unsold upon completion.”

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 the state 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 was 211,916 units in November, up from 197,712 units in October. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 7.7 per cent in November to 195,121 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 13.2 per cent to 137,898 units in November and the single-detached urban starts segment decreased by 3.6 per cent to 57,223 units.

In November, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, but decreased in British Columbia and Québec.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,795 units.

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