Housing starts continued to trend higher in June: CMHC

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The trend in housing starts was 293,567 units in June 2021, up from 284,837 in May 2021, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The six-month trend in housing starts remained elevated in June, despite recent moderation in single-detached starts from the highs recorded in the first quarter of 2021,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

“In June, lower single-detached SAAR starts offset a slight increase in multi-family SAAR starts in Canada’s urban areas, leading to a decline in overall SAAR starts for the month. However, the level of activity remains elevated by historical standards, both on a trend and monthly SAAR basis. The markets of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal registered particularly strong growth in total SAAR starts in June, driven by the multi-family segment.”

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 Canada’s housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as the multi-unit segment largely drives the market and can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 282,070 units in June, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from 286,296 units in May. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 1.8 per cent in June to 251,190 units.

Multiple urban starts increased by a slight 0.6% to 191,085 units in June while single-detached urban starts decreased by 8.5% to 60,105 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,880 units.


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