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Canadian housing starts surge 10% in May
[Jun 18, 2024]


Increase driven by multi-unit construction in major cities

The total monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts for all areas in Canada increased 10 per cent in May (264,506 units) compared to April (241,111), according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

¡°The focus for homebuilders remains on multi-unit construction in Canada¡¯s major centres as both the SAAR and Trend of housing starts increased in May, following two consecutive months of decline. This was due to growth in actual year-over-year starts, driven by significantly higher multi-unit starts, particularly in Montreal and Quebec. While this is good news for housing supply, we do expect downward pressure on starts through the rest of 2024,¡± said Bob Dugan, CMHC¡¯s chief economist.

The six-month trend in housing starts increased 3.8 per cent from 238,859 units in April to 247,830 units in May. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

The actual number of housing starts across Canada in urban centres of 10,000 population and over was up 39 per cent to 21,652 units in May compared to 15,606 units in May 2023. The year-over-year increase was driven by higher multi-unit starts, up 49% and higher single-detached starts, up 6%.

May¡¯s total actual housing starts were higher in two of Canada¡¯s three major cities, with Toronto up 26% and Montr¨¦al up 200% compared to May a year ago. Vancouver declined 13%. Montreal¡¯s total starts result was driven by a 59% increase in single-detached starts and a 218% increase in multi-unit starts versus May 2023.

Source: CMHC