Housing Starts’ Upward Trajectory Continued in July

Housing starts increased for the second consecutive month due to a healthy number of actual new builds in July, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

There were 242,525 units, up 2.8 per cent from 235,819 in June.

However, the standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased 10 per cent in July, compared to June, which was the strongest month so far this year. Despite the monthly drop, total SAAR housing starts for all areas in Canada was 7.4 per cent above the five-year average.

“Despite a decrease in the SAAR of housing starts relative to last month, July saw a healthy number of actual housing starts from a historical perspective,” says CHMC’s chief economist Bob Dugan. “This pushed the trend of housing starts upward for the second consecutive month. Market intelligence suggests multi-unit projects started in June and July were likely financed a few months prior, so the effect of the most recent interest rate hikes on housing starts remains to be seen.”

The monthly SAAR of total urban starts decreased by 11 per cent in July. Multi-unit urban starts decreased 12 per cent, while single-detached urban starts decreased four per cent.

Both Vancouver and Toronto saw decreases in total SAAR housing starts in July, down 23 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively. In contrast, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton recorded respective increases of 12 per cent, 33 per cent and 67 per cent.

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