Canadian housing starts trend decreased in May

  6/11/2019 |   SHARE
Posted in Canadian Housing Market by Forest Hill Real Estate CENTRAL| Back to Main Blog Page

CMHC Stats

The trend in housing starts was 201,983 units in May 2019, compared to 205,717 units in April 2019, 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.

"The national trend in housing starts decreased in May as a result of continuing decline in the trend for single starts as well as a decline in the trend of multi-unit starts that follows gains in this segment in recent months, in urban areas," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "The decrease in the trend of multi-unit starts reflects a decline in the SAAR level of multi-unit activity in May from the unusually elevated level registered in April, which leaves multi-unit SAAR starts closer to its 10-year average."

Housing Starts

 

Monthly Highlights

Vancouver
Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) housing starts saw a strong increase in May, with multi-family construction accounting for 90% of total starts for the month. Two thirds of the new units were located in Burnaby,Surrey, and Coquitlam, which together saw a number of condominium and rental apartment projects get underway. So far this year, total housing starts are 10% higher than they were in the same period in 2018 as developers and municipalities move to meet demand from the region's growing population.

Kelowna
Housing starts in the Kelowna CMA declined in May, relative to the same month last year, continuing the downward trend seen in the previous three months. Overall, housing starts were down approximately 44% in the first 5 months of 2019, relative to the same period last year. This downward trend comes on the heels of a slower pace of population growth allowing the existing home market to return to balance conditions.

Calgary
Housing starts trended lower in May after a slight up-tick the month prior. New construction activity in the market remains relatively low as builders continue to adjust to sustained levels of elevated inventory and soft demand.

Edmonton 
Housing starts trended lower for all units types except semi-detached which experienced a slight increase in May. The slowdown in starts continued to reflect the amount of unsold inventory on the market, particularly among single-detached units.

Brantford
Overall starts trended down in Brantford due to lower trending single-detached and row starts. However, despite the slowdown, row starts remain at a higher than usual level. New single detached home prices continue to rise, making new rows increasingly appealing to buyers who are looking to purchase an affordable low-rise home.

St. Catharines-Niagara
Total housing starts in the St. Catharines-Niagara CMA trended up to reach a near 30-year high in May. The townhomes sector was a clear leader, where the pace of new construction has accelerated the most, accounting for 40% of total new home construction trend this month. Price weary buyers from more expensive nearby communities continue to fuel demand for new homes in St. Catharines-Niagara.

Toronto
Total housing starts trended lower during May in the Toronto CMA with declines being recorded across all types of homes. High homeownership costs continue to weigh on the demand for single-detached and row houses thus resulting in fewer low-rise home starts. Strong pre-construction sales of condominium apartment units over the past two years will continue to translate into starts over time at a varied pace, despite their starts trending lower in May.

Ottawa
Housing starts trended slightly higher in May because of higher row starts. Year-to-date actual starts are up 14% relative to the same period last year due mainly to a rise in condominium apartment starts while single-detached homes declined. Rising ownership costs are shifting demand toward relatively more affordable dwellings and tight resale market conditions are encouraging builders to increase supply of condominium apartment units. 

Gatineau
From January to May, residential construction in the Gatineau area reached a five-decade record high. This strong increase was attributable mainly to the rise in rental housing starts in the Plateau neighbourhood. The aging of the population and the low vacancy rate have continued to stimulate starts of this type in the Gatineau area.

Montréal
Total housing starts in the Montréal area in the first five months of this year increased compared to the same period last year. This gain was solely attributable to rental housing construction, as condominium and single-family home starts recorded decreases. The low vacancy rates on the conventional rental market and the greater proportion of young households now opting for rental housing have kept stimulating rental housing starts. Seniors' rental apartment construction has also posted strong growth since the beginning of the year.

Halifax
Residential construction in Halifax continues to trend upwards as the total number of housing starts year-to-date increased by 48% compared to the same period last year. While the apartment segment has been dominating the growth in construction so far this year, in May, single-detached starts recorded a strong uptick, expanding by 69% year-over-year. As sales remain elevated in relation to the number of new listings, demand for additional supply is supporting the new home construction market.

Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Total housing starts in PEI were 60% higher in May driven primarily by higher apartment starts in response to the record low vacancy rate. The PEI economy continues to outperform the other Atlantic provinces, driven primarily by increased capital project spending as well as strong population, income and employment growth.

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 202,337 units in May, down 13.3% from 233,410 units in April. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 14.4% in May to 186,946 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 18.5% to 141,851 units in May while single-detached urban starts increased by 1.8% to 45,095 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,391 units.

 

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

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   
   

May 2018

May 2019

%

May 2018

May 2019

%

May 2018

May 2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.-L.

 

42

37

-12

12

14

17

54

51

-6

P.E.I.   

 

30

23

-23

18

54

200

48

77

60

N.S.   

 

102

113

11

162

147

-9

264

260

-2

N.B.   

 

59

51

-14

89

126

42

148

177

20

Atlantic

 

233

224

-4

281

341

21

514

565

10

Qc

 

717

688

-4

2,664

3,468

30

3,381

4,156

23

Ont.   

 

2,273

1,771

-22

2,665

2,766

4

4,938

4,537

-8

Man.   

 

246

196

-20

215

502

133

461

698

51

Sask.   

 

106

93

-12

223

101

-55

329

194

-41

Alta.   

 

1,075

776

-28

1,800

1,015

-44

2,875

1,791

-38

Prairies

 

1,427

1,065

-25

2,238

1,618

-28

3,665

2,683

-27

B.C.   

 

875

700

-20

2,612

3,835

47

3,487

4,535

30

Canada (10,000+)

5,525

4,448

-19

10,460

12,028

15

15,985

16,476

3

Metropolitan Areas

                 

Abbotsford-Mission

26

47

81

24

110

358

50

157

214

Barrie

 

65

14

-78

141

13

-91

206

27

-87

Belleville

 

42

58

38

53

12

-77

95

70

-26

Brantford

 

53

21

-60

60

5

-92

113

26

-77

Calgary

 

384

294

-23

1,265

518

-59

1,649

812

-51

Edmonton

 

511

335

-34

452

260

-42

963

595

-38

Greater Sudbury

4

7

75

8

4

-50

12

11

-8

Guelph

 

11

31

182

8

16

100

19

47

147

Halifax

 

45

76

69

137

125

-9

182

201

10

Hamilton

 

57

40

-30

357

210

-41

414

250

-40

Kelowna

 

72

38

-47

247

52

-79

319

90

-72

Kingston

 

30

31

3

20

12

-40

50

43

-14

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

89

61

-31

87

85

-2

176

146

-17

Lethbridge

 

41

23

-44

24

12

-50

65

35

-46

London

 

142

133

-6

43

54

26

185

187

1

Moncton

 

17

17

-

27

101

274

44

118

168

Montréal

 

332

284

-14

1,506

1,953

30

1,838

2,237

22

Oshawa

 

153

243

59

58

152

162

211

395

87

Ottawa-Gatineau

289

279

-3

486

886

82

775

1,165

50

Gatineau

 

35

42

20

179

465

160

214

507

137

Ottawa

 

254

237

-7

307

421

37

561

658

17

Peterborough

 

42

25

-40

24

89

271

66

114

73

Québec

 

78

94

21

447

669

50

525

763

45

Regina

 

32

11

-66

69

12

-83

101

23

-77

Saguenay

 

19

33

74

20

21

5

39

54

38

St. Catharines-Niagara

58

72

24

60

124

107

118

196

66

Saint John

 

17

16

-6

0

2

##

17

18

6

St. John's

 

27

26

-4

9

13

44

36

39

8

Saskatoon

 

66

76

15

144

73

-49

210

149

-29

Sherbrooke

 

21

26

24

126

93

-26

147

119

-19

Thunder Bay

 

5

8

60

0

8

##

5

16

220

Toronto

 

833

371

-55

1,242

1,367

10

2,075

1,738

-16

Trois-Rivières

36

26

-28

30

38

27

66

64

-3

Vancouver

 

406

334

-18

1,856

3,256

75

2,262

3,590

59

Victoria

 

93

57

-39

177

142

-20

270

199

-26

Windsor

 

59

57

-3

36

22

-39

95

79

-17

Winnipeg

 

192

171

-11

207

486

135

399

657

65

Total

 

4,347

3,435

-21

9,450

10,995

16

13,797

14,430

5

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions. 

Source:  Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value

 

 

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

   

Single-Detached

All Others

Total

   

April 2019

May 2019

%

April 2019

May 2019

%

April 2019

May 2019

%

Provinces (10,000+)

                 

N.L.

 

303

320

6

43

160

272

346

480

39

P.E.I.   

 

164

185

13

96

648

##

260

833

220

N.S.   

 

1,457

1,289

-12

1,871

1,763

-6

3,328

3,052

-8

N.B.   

 

504

500

-1

1,070

1,247

17

1,574

1,747

11

Qc  

 

6,191

5,983

-3

42,343

40,567

-4

48,534

46,550

-4

Ont.   

 

16,570

17,688

7

67,417

32,053

-52

83,987

49,741

-41

Man.   

 

2,067

2,016

-2

3,636

6,024

66

5,703

8,040

41

Sask.   

 

500

1,070

114

720

1,212

68

1,220

2,282

87

Alta.   

 

8,341

8,712

4

15,854

12,157

-23

24,195

20,869

-14

B.C.   

 

8,203

7,332

-11

41,019

46,020

12

49,222

53,352

8

Canada (10,000+)

44,300

45,095

2

174,069

141,851

-19

218,369

186,946

-14

Canada (All Areas)

55,577

56,374

1

177,834

145,964

-18

233,410

202,337

-13

Metropolitan Areas

Abbotsford-Mission

332

452

36

672

1,320

96

1,004

1,772

76

Barrie

 

104

103

-1

576

156

-73

680

259

-62

Belleville

 

339

451

33

72

144

100

411

595

45

Brantford

 

153

156

2

300

60

-80

453

216

-52

Calgary

 

2,926

3,329

14

8,412

6,216

-26

11,338

9,545

-16

Edmonton

 

3,903

3,460

-11

6,552

3,120

-52

10,455

6,580

-37

Greater Sudbury

193

79

-59

0

48

##

193

127

-34

Guelph

 

233

298

28

96

192

100

329

490

49

Halifax

 

792

826

4

1,512

1,500

-1

2,304

2,326

1

Hamilton

 

421

411

-2

5,160

2,520

-51

5,581

2,931

-47

Kelowna

 

414

401

-3

384

624

63

798

1,025

28

Kingston

 

268

309

15

312

144

-54

580

453

-22

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

938

652

-30

13,044

1,020

-92

13,982

1,672

-88

Lethbridge

 

402

265

-34

96

144

50

498

409

-18

London

 

1,124

1,351

20

4,176

648

-84

5,300

1,999

-62

Moncton

 

230

174

-24

936

1,212

29

1,166

1,386

19

Montréal

 

2,394

2,292

-4

26,909

23,085

-14

29,303

25,377

-13

Oshawa

 

363

2,545

##

72

1,824

##

435

4,369

##

Ottawa-Gatineau

3,883

3,146

-19

7,536

10,632

41

11,419

13,778

21

Gatineau

 

754

574

-24

4,380

5,580

27

5,134

6,154

20

Ottawa

 

3,129

2,572

-18

3,156

5,052

60

6,285

7,624

21

Peterborough

194

210

8

180

1,068

493

374

1,278

242

Québec

 

646

770

19

3,456

8,028

132

4,102

8,798

114

Regina

 

156

146

-6

300

144

-52

456

290

-36

Saguenay

 

129

244

89

144

252

75

273

496

82

St. Catharines-Niagara

1,264

783

-38

2,508

1,488

-41

3,772

2,271

-40

Saint John

 

89

152

71

0

24

##

89

176

98

St. John's

 

174

229

32

12

156

##

186

385

107

Saskatoon

 

429

780

82

264

876

232

693

1,656

139

Sherbrooke

 

240

316

32

1,200

1,116

-7

1,440

1,432

-1

Thunder Bay

106

101

-5

0

96

##

106

197

86

Toronto

 

3,011

3,539

18

35,040

16,404

-53

38,051

19,943

-48

Trois-Rivières

203

205

1

468

456

-3

671

661

-1

Vancouver

 

3,925

3,595

-8

30,288

39,072

29

34,213

42,667

25

Victoria

 

577

607

5

4,740

1,704

-64

5,317

2,311

-57

Windsor

 

443

548

24

288

264

-8

731

812

11

Winnipeg

 

1,705

1,709

0

3,432

5,832

70

5,137

7,541

47

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.

Source:  Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

## not calculable / extreme value

Source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation



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