Canadian housing starts increased in July

The trend in housing starts was 204,376 units in July 2020, up from 199,778 units in June 2020, 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 increased for a second month in July,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Higher multi-family starts in major urban areas, including Toronto, Vancouver and oil-producing centres in the Prairies drove the national increase. Following declines in previous months from COVID-19 measures, higher activity in June and July leaves the trend in housing starts in line with the long-run average level of housing starts. We expect national starts to trend lower in the near term as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators.”

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 245,604 units in July, an increase of 15.8% from 212,095 units in June. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 17.4% in July to 231,995 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 18.8% to 184,431 units in July while single-detached urban starts increased by 12.3% to 47,564 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,609 units.

Table 1: Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over 
Single-Detached All Others Total
July 2019 July 2020 % July 2019 July 2020 % July 2019 July 2020 %
Provinces (10,000+)
N.-L. 40 56 40 14 13 -7 54 69 28
P.E.I. 27 27 124 14 -89 151 41 -73
N.S. 141 152 8 176 492 180 317 644 103
N.B. 105 86 -18 164 528 222 269 614 128
Atlantic 313 321 3 478 1,047 119 791 1,368 73
Qc 615 753 22 3,232 3,974 23 3,847 4,727 23
Ont. 1,892 2,132 13 4,254 5,258 24 6,146 7,390 20
Man. 202 184 -9 324 363 12 526 547 4
Sask. 76 127 67 39 570 ## 115 697 ##
Alta. 828 690 -17 1,643 1,273 -23 2,471 1,963 -21
Prairies 1,106 1,001 -9 2,006 2,206 10 3,112 3,207 3
B.C. 682 642 -6 3,495 2,777 -21 4,177 3,419 -18
Canada (10,000+) 4,608 4,849 5 13,465 15,262 13 18,073 20,111 11
Metropolitan Areas
Abbotsford-Mission 28 23 -18 218 16 -93 246 39 -84
Barrie 43 32 -26 32 16 -50 75 48 -36
Belleville 49 56 14 8 8 57 64 12
Brantford 74 54 -27 14 43 207 88 97 10
Calgary 283 241 -15 408 496 22 691 737 7
Edmonton 373 333 -11 988 607 -39 1,361 940 -31
Greater Sudbury 26 17 -35 18 12 -33 44 29 -34
Guelph 25 19 -24 53 0 -100 78 19 -76
Halifax 81 101 25 148 473 220 229 574 151
Hamilton 39 34 -13 85 547 ## 124 581 369
Kelowna 48 34 -29 74 256 246 122 290 138
Kingston 28 26 -7 61 82 34 89 108 21
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 68 93 37 347 79 -77 415 172 -59
Lethbridge 36 23 -36 107 78 -27 143 101 -29
London 151 222 47 124 109 -12 275 331 20
Moncton 31 26 -16 89 370 316 120 396 230
Montréal 247 259 5 1,867 2,776 49 2,114 3,035 44
Oshawa 99 56 -43 42 86 105 141 142 1
Ottawa-Gatineau 320 386 21 579 592 2 899 978 9
Gatineau 44 63 43 256 175 -32 300 238 -21
Ottawa 276 323 17 323 417 29 599 740 24
Peterborough 17 26 53 95 2 -98 112 28 -75
Québec 70 96 37 679 476 -30 749 572 -24
Regina 19 22 16 5 56 ## 24 78 225
Saguenay 15 38 153 10 46 360 25 84 236
St. Catharines-Niagara 72 122 69 53 155 192 125 277 122
Saint John 26 19 -27 0 78 ## 26 97 273
St. John’s 25 44 76 6 10 67 31 54 74
Saskatoon 51 95 86 16 498 ## 67 593 ##
Sherbrooke 26 39 50 55 62 13 81 101 25
Thunder Bay 9 13 44 9 6 -33 18 19 6
Toronto 456 652 43 2,315 3,469 50 2,771 4,121 49
Trois-Rivières 18 21 17 32 56 75 50 77 54
Vancouver 345 315 -9 2,353 1,764 -25 2,698 2,079 -23
Victoria 46 80 74 261 283 8 307 363 18
Windsor 86 41 -52 335 45 -87 421 86 -80
Winnipeg 169 141 -17 246 341 39 415 482 16
Total 3,499 3,799 9 11,732 13,993 19 15,231 17,792 17

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

Table 2: Preliminary Housing Start Data — Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)
Single-Detached All Others Total
June 2020 July 2020 % June 2020 July 2020 % June 2020 July 2020 %
Provinces (10,000+)
N.L. 260 486 87 115 147 28 375 633 69
P.E.I. 216 218 1 1,608 168 -90 1,824 386 -79
N.S. 1,180 1,441 22 1,043 5,876 463 2,223 7,317 229
N.B. 587 530 -10 1,736 6,117 252 2,323 6,647 186
Qc 6,630 7,301 10 48,068 50,763 6 54,698 58,064 6
Ont. 17,500 21,252 21 59,013 61,745 5 76,513 82,997 8
Man. 1,690 1,834 9 5,340 4,356 -18 7,030 6,190 -12
Sask. 800 1,012 27 1,512 6,840 352 2,312 7,852 240
Alta. 7,068 6,832 -3 7,154 15,099 111 14,222 21,931 54
B.C. 6,418 6,658 4 29,636 33,320 12 36,054 39,978 11
Canada (10,000+) 42,349 47,564 12 155,225 184,431 19 197,574 231,995 17
Canada (All Areas) 51,634 57,429 11 160,462 188,176 17 212,095 245,604 16
Metropolitan Areas
Abbotsford-Mission 286 287 0 300 192 -36 586 479 -18
Barrie 411 199 -52 2,472 192 -92 2,883 391 -86
Belleville 268 514 92 120 96 -20 388 610 57
Brantford 425 419 -1 144 516 258 569 935 64
Calgary 2,328 2,841 22 2,484 5,952 140 4,812 8,793 83
Edmonton 3,471 3,432 -1 3,468 7,284 110 6,939 10,716 54
Greater Sudbury 126 99 -21 48 144 200 174 243 40
Guelph 94 237 152 144 0 -100 238 237 0
Halifax 744 1,019 37 684 5,676 ## 1,428 6,695 369
Hamilton 329 336 2 2,376 6,564 176 2,705 6,900 155
Kelowna 226 385 70 2,628 3,072 17 2,854 3,457 21
Kingston 202 230 14 576 984 71 778 1,214 56
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 709 1,266 79 6,672 948 -86 7,381 2,214 -70
Lethbridge 186 192 3 840 936 11 1,026 1,128 10
London 1,429 1,918 34 1,212 1,308 8 2,641 3,226 22
Moncton 194 158 -19 1,128 4,440 294 1,322 4,598 248
Montréal 2,310 2,554 11 37,122 33,194 -11 39,432 35,748 -9
Oshawa 412 539 31 1,212 1,032 -15 1,624 1,571 -3
Ottawa-Gatineau 2,882 3,510 22 7,980 7,104 -11 10,862 10,614 -2
Gatineau 338 558 65 3,312 2,100 -37 3,650 2,658 -27
Ottawa 2,544 2,952 16 4,668 5,004 7 7,212 7,956 10
Peterborough 120 179 49 0 24 ## 120 203 69
Québec 805 1,016 26 10,536 5,712 -46 11,341 6,728 -41
Regina 116 236 103 156 672 331 272 908 234
Saguenay 212 302 42 276 552 100 488 854 75
St. Catharines-Niagara 1,440 1,201 -17 2,988 1,860 -38 4,428 3,061 -31
Saint John 122 144 18 348 936 169 470 1,080 130
St. John’s 199 399 101 108 120 11 307 519 69
Saskatoon 582 800 37 1,344 5,976 345 1,926 6,776 252
Sherbrooke 382 578 51 3,744 744 -80 4,126 1,322 -68
Thunder Bay 89 83 -7 264 72 -73 353 155 -56
Toronto 5,970 6,838 15 33,816 41,628 23 39,786 48,466 22
Trois-Rivières 179 232 30 816 672 -18 995 904 -9
Vancouver 3,355 3,227 -4 20,196 21,168 5 23,551 24,395 4
Victoria 748 765 2 1,608 3,396 111 2,356 4,161 77
Windsor 616 421 -32 1,212 540 -55 1,828 961 -47
Winnipeg 1,344 1,436 7 5,028 4,092 -19 6,372 5,528 -13

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

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