September Sees Uptick in Canadian Housing Starts

The trend in housing starts was higher in September, up 3.9 per cent to 254,006 units from 244,511 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada increased eight per cent in September (270,466 units), compared to August (250,383 units).

The monthly SAAR of total urban housing starts increased nine per cent, with 250,766 units recorded. Multi-unit urban starts rose by 10 per cent to 207,689 units, while single-detached urban starts increased three per cent to 43,077 units.

“Multi-unit starts activity has persisted and maintained similar levels to 2022 despite the higher interest rate environment. This has helped offset double-digit declines in single-detached starts in all provinces,” says CMHC’s chief economist Bob Dugan. “In fact, September was the second highest month this year for multi-unit starts. It seems the current higher interest rate environment has not yet had the expected negative impact on multi-unit construction activity so far in 2023.”

Total SAAR housing starts were up 98 per cent in Montreal, and 20 per cent in Toronto. Vancouver recorded a decrease of 17 per cent, driven by declines in both single-detached and multi-unit starts, down 12 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

The rural starts monthly SAAR estimate was 19,700 units.

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