Canadian housing starts activity falls again

Market activity has retreated from the highs seen earlier this year, CMHC says

Canadian housing starts activity falls again

The Canadian housing starts trend was 283,971 units in August, down from 286,076 units in July, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This represented the latest in the market’s sustained contraction since the highs seen during early spring, CMHC said.

“In August, both single-detached and multi-family [seasonally adjusted annual rate] starts were lower in Canada’s urban areas, resulting in a decline in overall SAAR starts for the month,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC.

Read more: Residential construction investment weakens

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts across all Canadian markets was 260,239 units in August, declining by 3.9% from 270,744 units in July. Urban starts saw their SAAR drop by 4.7% last month to 235,782 units, while multiple urban starts fell by 5.7% to 173,120 units.

Single-detached urban starts ticked down by 2% to 62,662 units, while rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 24,457 units in August.

“Among Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Toronto was the only market to register growth in total SAAR starts in August, due to modest growth in the multi-family segment,” Dugan said.

Despite the widespread slowdown, overall starts activity was still elevated by historical standards, Dugan said.