Canadian Housing Starts Trend Stable in April

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 195,064 units in April compared to 196,103 in March, 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.

“While the trend for Canada remained stable in April, there were off-setting differences at the local level, notably in Vancouver and Montréal,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “Condo construction is slowing down in Montreal as builders are managing inventories by channelling demand to units that have been completed but remain unsold.”

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 for all areas in Canada was 191,512 units in April, down from 202,375 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent in April to 174,810 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 4.0 per cent to 117,851 units in April and the single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.8 per cent to 56,959 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,702 units.

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