Canadian Housing Starts Trend Stable in March

  4/10/2018 |   SHARE
Posted in Canadian Housing Market by Forest Hill Real Estate CENTRAL| Back to Main Blog Page

CMHC News

The trend in housing starts was 226,842 units in March 2018, compared to 225,804 units in February 2018, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"In March, the national trend in housing starts was stable for the fifth consecutive month, as diverging trends for multi-unit and single-detached dwellings continue to offset each other," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "Over this period, multi-unit starts have trended higher in most major urban centres while single-detached starts have trended lower."

Monthly Highlights

Vancouver
Rising March housing starts capped off a strong first quarter in starts in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Starts of multifamily condominium and rental units led the increase, with activity concentrated in the core areas of the City of Vancouver,Richmond, and North Vancouver in the first quarter of this year. Demand for new homes continues to be supported by strong migration, household formation and employment growth in the region.

Victoria
Housing starts in Metro Victoria appear to be moving in different directions with single-detached and apartment units diverging. Overall, the total starts are trending downward from a peak in late 2017. However, apartment starts were 77% above theMarch 2017 year-to-date figures, while single-detached starts were down 32%. Inventory in single-detached units has shown signs of accumulation but remains below average.   

Edmonton 
Housing starts in the Edmonton CMA continued to trend lower in March due in part to a declining trend in multi-family construction where inventory levels remain elevated. Weakness in multi-family construction lowered actual total housing starts for the month of March, down 44% compared to March of last year.

Toronto
Led by condominium apartment starts, the total number of housing starts in the Toronto CMA trended up to reach a seven month high during March.  Relatively affordable prices of condominium apartments continued to draw price weary buyers towards purchasing pre-construction units, particularly within the City of Toronto, and thus drove up their construction.  High house prices and tighter borrowing conditions weighed on demand for single and semi-detached homes and consequently, their starts trended lower.

St. Catharines-Niagara
The St. Catharines-Niagara CMA saw 165 total actual starts in March, the highest recorded for the month since 1992. The trend towards relatively more affordable higher-density housing continued with multi-units accounting for 73% of total starts, up from 41% last March. Weaker employment conditions and rising housing prices continue to favour a mix toward more affordable housing driving multi-unit starts.

Brantford
Housing starts trended up in Brantford due to single-detached starts, which were already high in January and February. The strong March allowed single-detached starts to reach its highest first quarter total in over 10 years. A primary driver behind the increased demand for new single-detached homes in Brantford has been Greater Toronto and Hamilton area buyers seeking more affordable housing options.

Province of Québec
The level of housing starts for the total aggregate of Quebec's urban centres remained stable in the first quarter, in both the single-detached home and multi-unit housing segments. Apartment starts decreased in all of the province's census metropolitan areas (CMAs) except in the Québec CMA, where an increase was recorded in the first quarter. The increase for that segment in the Québec CMA offset the decreases in the other CMAs of the province.

Halifax 
The single-detached market in Halifax continues to expand over the first quarter, up 42% compared to the same period last year. Despite the price differential, with the number of active listings on the resale market remaining low, buyers may be increasingly looking to the new home market to meet their purchasing needs. On the contrary, construction in the typically busy multiples market has slowed over the first quarter, down 37% year-over-year.

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 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 of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 225,213 units in March, down from 231,026 units in February. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 2.8% in March to 208,237 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 7.3% to 144,578 units in March while single-detached urban starts increased by 9.5% to 63,659 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,976 units.

 

Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   
                     
   

March

2017

March

2018

%

March

2017

March

2018

%

March

2017

March

2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.-L.

 

8

13

63

13

93

##

21

106

405

P.E.I.   

 

20

12

-40

2

6

200

22

18

-18

N.S.   

 

61

99

62

10

25

150

71

124

75

N.B.   

 

5

7

40

55

3

-95

60

10

-83

Atlantic

 

94

131

39

80

127

59

174

258

48

Qc

 

378

388

3

2,958

2,449

-17

3,336

2,837

-15

Ont.   

 

1,605

1,458

-9

4,080

3,435

-16

5,685

4,893

-14

Man.   

 

254

180

-29

283

371

31

537

551

3

Sask.   

 

134

79

-41

153

24

-84

287

103

-64

Alta.   

 

719

801

11

1,801

1,091

-39

2,520

1,892

-25

Prairies

 

1,107

1,060

-4

2,237

1,486

-34

3,344

2,546

-24

B.C.   

 

847

666

-21

2,741

3,080

12

3,588

3,746

4

Canada (10,000+)

4,031

3,703

-8

12,096

10,577

-13

16,127

14,280

-11

Metropolitan Areas

                 

Abbotsford-Mission

44

19

-57

78

79

1

122

98

-20

Barrie

 

10

35

250

123

26

-79

133

61

-54

Belleville

 

16

13

-19

11

6

-45

27

19

-30

Brantford

 

11

32

191

4

4

-

15

36

140

Calgary

 

283

306

8

862

525

-39

1,145

831

-27

Edmonton

 

280

368

31

880

280

-68

1,160

648

-44

Greater Sudbury

1

0

-100

0

0

-

1

0

-100

Guelph

 

15

10

-33

108

60

-44

123

70

-43

Halifax

 

26

41

58

2

16

##

28

57

104

Hamilton

 

25

19

-24

62

58

-6

87

77

-11

Kelowna

 

61

53

-13

441

108

-76

502

161

-68

Kingston

 

10

24

140

3

4

33

13

28

115

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

132

102

-23

47

319

##

179

421

135

Lethbridge

 

41

26

-37

18

15

-17

59

41

-31

London

 

114

122

7

125

23

-82

239

145

-39

Moncton

 

1

2

100

55

2

-96

56

4

-93

Montréal

 

163

154

-6

2,048

1,475

-28

2,211

1,629

-26

Oshawa

 

130

105

-19

16

66

313

146

171

17

Ottawa-Gatineau

127

201

58

429

241

-44

556

442

-21

  Gatineau

 

23

23

-

322

32

-90

345

55

-84

  Ottawa

 

104

178

71

107

209

95

211

387

83

Peterborough

 

7

8

14

2

0

-100

9

8

-11

Québec

 

53

71

34

199

482

142

252

553

119

Regina

 

52

36

-31

58

6

-90

110

42

-62

Saguenay

 

5

6

20

26

16

-38

31

22

-29

St. Catharines-Niagara

75

45

-40

52

120

131

127

165

30

Saint John

 

2

3

50

0

0

-

2

3

50

St. John's

 

7

10

43

0

93

##

7

103

##

Saskatoon

 

74

38

-49

93

13

-86

167

51

-69

Sherbrooke

 

20

28

40

87

118

36

107

146

36

Thunder Bay

 

0

0

-

0

0

-

0

0

-

Toronto

 

654

501

-23

3,190

2,376

-26

3,844

2,877

-25

Trois-Rivières

 

10

9

-10

12

10

-17

22

19

-14

Vancouver

 

442

326

-26

2,044

2,319

13

2,486

2,645

6

Victoria

 

81

50

-38

79

254

222

160

304

90

Windsor

 

58

22

-62

39

8

-79

97

30

-69

Winnipeg

 

210

155

-26

274

335

22

484

490

1

Total

 

3,240

2,940

-9

11,467

9,457

-18

14,707

12,397

-16

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" "width="100%&quot;">

 

Preliminary Housing Start Data - Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

       

February

2018

March

2018

%

February

2018

March

2018

%

February

2018

March

2018

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.L.

 

777

829

7

28

5,054

##

805

5,883

##

P.E.I.   

 

343

466

36

288

72

-75

631

538

-15

N.S.   

 

1,966

1,979

1

2,339

521

-78

4,305

2,500

-42

N.B.   

 

751

634

-16

162

183

13

913

817

-11

Qc  

 

6,002

6,571

9

37,764

39,452

4

43,766

46,023

5

Ont.   

 

25,544

27,605

8

77,301

43,983

-43

102,845

71,588

-30

Man.   

 

2,200

2,670

21

2,112

4,452

111

4,312

7,122

65

Sask.   

 

1,425

1,478

4

1,752

288

-84

3,177

1,766

-44

Alta.   

 

10,559

11,903

13

11,432

13,468

18

21,991

25,371

15

B.C.   

 

8,566

9,524

11

22,843

37,105

62

31,409

46,629

48

Canada (10,000+)

58,133

63,659

10

156,021

144,578

-7

214,154

208,237

-3

Canada (All Areas)

70,745

76,621

8

160,281

148,590

-7

231,026

225,213

-3

Metropolitan Areas

                 

Abbotsford-Mission

373

308

-17

360

948

163

733

1,256

71

Barrie

 

2,325

1,273

-45

888

312

-65

3,213

1,585

-51

Belleville

 

510

724

42

0

72

##

510

796

56

Brantford

 

328

365

11

0

48

##

328

413

26

Calgary

 

4,138

4,268

3

3,384

6,300

86

7,522

10,568

40

Edmonton

 

4,874

5,075

4

5,844

3,360

-43

10,718

8,435

-21

Greater Sudbury

114

43

-62

0

0

-

114

43

-62

Guelph

 

121

175

45

432

720

67

553

895

62

Halifax

 

871

815

-6

1,632

192

-88

2,503

1,007

-60

Hamilton

 

1,145

332

-71

1,152

696

-40

2,297

1,028

-55

Kelowna

 

312

862

176

180

1,296

##

492

2,158

339

Kingston

 

289

511

77

192

48

-75

481

559

16

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

1,757

1,667

-5

1,260

3,828

204

3,017

5,495

82

Lethbridge

 

416

410

-1

60

180

200

476

590

24

London

 

1,957

2,065

6

240

276

15

2,197

2,341

7

Moncton

 

319

302

-5

0

24

##

319

326

2

Montréal

 

2,609

2,589

-1

24,385

17,684

-27

26,994

20,273

-25

Oshawa

 

1,587

1,838

16

72

792

##

1,659

2,630

59

Ottawa-Gatineau

2,455

4,306

75

816

2,892

254

3,271

7,198

120

  Gatineau

 

551

543

-1

120

384

220

671

927

38

  Ottawa

 

1,904

3,763

98

696

2,508

260

2,600

6,271

141

Peterborough

645

633

-2

0

0

-

645

633

-2

Québec

 

263

989

276

504

5,784

##

767

6,773

##

Regina

 

526

476

-10

1,296

72

-94

1,822

548

-70

Saguenay

 

199

217

9

0

192

##

199

409

106

St. Catharines-Niagara

1,191

919

-23

816

1,440

76

2,007

2,359

18

Saint John

 

131

201

53

0

0

-

131

201

53

St. John's

 

587

548

-7

24

1,116

##

611

1,664

172

Saskatoon

 

686

750

9

396

156

-61

1,082

906

-16

Sherbrooke

 

244

352

44

996

1,416

42

1,240

1,768

43

Thunder Bay

 

136

135

-1

0

0

-

136

135

-1

Toronto

 

7,843

9,739

24

63,396

28,512

-55

71,239

38,251

-46

Trois-Rivières

393

264

-33

24

120

400

417

384

-8

Vancouver

 

4,088

4,600

13

16,164

27,828

72

20,252

32,428

60

Victoria

 

640

554

-13

3,132

3,048

-3

3,772

3,602

-5

Windsor

 

590

478

-19

516

96

-81

1,106

574

-48

Winnipeg

 

1,898

2,131

12

1,452

4,020

177

3,350

6,151

84

Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Data for 2018 based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value



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