CMHC: Housing begins 2023 with a dip in starts

Montreal was the only market with increases.


Home building saw a rocky start to 2023. 

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada declined 13% in January (215,365 units) compared to December (248,296 units). 

The SAAR of total urban starts declined 16%, with 191,491 units recorded in January. Multi-unit urban starts declined 20% to 146,267 units, while single-detached urban starts increased 3% to 45,224 units.

The rural starts SAAR estimate was 23,874 units.

The trend in housing starts was 259,412 units in January, down 4% from 269,781 units 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,” 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.”



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