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Canadian housing starts increased in June


July 23, 2020
By Ground Water Canada

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Ottawa – The trend in housing starts was 199,655 units in June 2020, up from 197,063 units in May 2020, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,006 units, up from 7,772 units excluding Quebec in May.

This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

“The national trend in housing starts increased in June,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in a news release. “This reflects higher multi-family starts in Toronto and Montreal following declines in these centres in recent months from COVID-19 measures. Housing starts continued to decline in most other centres in June, including Vancouver. 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.”

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Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,006 units. For May they were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7,772 units excluding Quebec. For April they were were estimated at 7,285 units excluding Quebec. For March they were estimated at 12,621 units. For February they were estimated at 10,765 units.

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 seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 211,681 units in June, an increase of 8.3 per cent from 195,453 units in May. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 8.7 per cent in June to 196,675 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 13.0 per cent to 154,602 units in June while single-detached urban starts decreased by 4.5 per cent to 42,073 units.