Canada Housing Starts Increased In March

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Ottawa: The trend in housing starts was 273,664 units in March 2021, up from 252,636 units in February 2021, 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 in March, reflecting very elevated levels of activity in January and March 2021,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

“Multi-family SAAR starts rebounded strongly following decline in February, with Toronto and Vancouver registering particularly large gains in this segment. Single-detached SAAR starts also contributed to the increase in the overall trend in March, but by a relatively modest amount in comparison to Multi-family starts.”

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 the multi-unit segment largely drives the market and can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 335,200 units in March, an increase of 21.6% from 275,567 units in February. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 24.4% in March to 300,973 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 33.8% to 222,358 units in March while single-detached urban starts increased by 3.6% to 78,615 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 34,227 units. Monthly Housing Starts and Other Construction Data are accessible in English and French on our website and the CMHC Housing Market Information Portal.

CMHC analysts are also available to provide further insight into their respective markets. Housing starts data is available on the eleventh business day each month. CMHC will release the April 2021 data on May 17 at 8:15 AM ET.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market
and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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