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November 19, 2020

Canadian housing starts trend higher in October

The trend in housing starts was 222,734 units in October 2020, up from 214,372 units in September 2020, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The national trend in housing starts increased in October following a pause in September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Higher single-detached SAAR starts in October drove the overall trend higher, offsetting a second consecutive decline in monthly multi-family SAAR starts. Single-detached starts trended higher in several major centres, including Toronto and Montréal.”

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of Canada’s housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 214,875 units in October, an increase of 3.0% from 208,715 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 3.5% in October to 202,584 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by a slight 0.2% to 144,796 units in October while single-detached urban starts increased by 14.3% to 57,788 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,291 units.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.


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