Rate of housing starts turn south in January
By Adam FreillConstruction construction forecasting housing starts
The six-month trend of housing starts declined nationally in the first month of 2023.
The rate of housing starts took a significant turn downward in January, posting a 13% drop from December, according to tabulations by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
The standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada declined to 215,365 units. December’s figure came in at 248,296 units.
Despite the considerable drop in the SAAR, actual housing starts for metropolitan areas with populations over 10,000 were up roughly 4% compared to January of 2022, coming in at 12,037 units in January of 2023.
The trend in housing starts sat at 259,412 units in January, down four per cent from the 269,781 units reported in December. The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.
“Both the Monthly SAAR and the six-month trend of housing starts declined nationally in the first month of 2023, with SAAR of housing starts hitting its lowest level since September 2020,” said Aled ab Iorwerth, CMHC’s Deputy Chief Economist. “Among Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Montreal was the only market with increases in total SAAR housing starts in January, up 36%. Toronto declined 52% while Vancouver declined 14%, which contributed to the overall monthly decline in SAAR housing starts for Canada.”