Annual pace of housing starts plummets

A big decrease took place between April and May

Annual pace of housing starts plummets

The annual pace of Canadian housing starts slowed in May by 23% over the previous month, with Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal all posting big month-over-month declines.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts came in at 202,494 units in May compared with 261,357 units in April as apartment, condo, and multi-unit housing starts fell dramatically in those three cities.

Vancouver housing starts plummeted by 45%, with Toronto posting a 28% decrease and Montreal seeing its pace slow by 35%. In each of those cities, multi-unit starts were well down, cancelling out a higher pace of single-detached starts.

The national annual rate of urban starts was 182,842 units, a decline of 24% over April, while multi-unit urban starts were down 30% to 139,890 units. Rural starts saw a pace of 19,652 units for the month.

The news sees the pace of home construction in Canada continue a zigzag trajectory in 2023, with no two months having seen consecutive increases or decreases in housing starts.

April saw home starts surge by 22%, following a March decrease of 11%. February starts increased by 13%, cancelling out a slowdown by the same percentage at the beginning of the year.