Canada housing starts drop in August

A decline in multi-unit urban starts contributed to a slower month overall, said CMHC

Canada housing starts drop in August

Canadian housing starts were down 3% in August over the previous month, a trend that was driven by a decline in multi-unit urban starts, according to Canada’s national housing agency.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said August saw a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts of 267,443 units compared with a revised 275,158 units in July, with that multi-unit urban start drop cancelling out a slight increase in single-detached starts.

The latter saw 59,169 unit starts, up 1% over the previous month, with multi-unit urban starts having posted a 4% decline to 187,602 units. Rural starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,672 units.

In remarks accompanying the news, CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said housing starts activity in Canada remains elevated by historical standards, trending at well above 200,000 units since 2020.

Vancouver saw a decline in single-detached units offset by higher multi-unit starts, with Toronto recording strong increases across the board and Montreal registering a 33% drop in multi-unit starts, according to CMHC.