Canada’s housing starts continue to see regional impacts in May: CMHC Report

CMHC’s recent monthly Starts and Completions Survey (SCS), excluding Quebec, was 196,750 units in May 2020, down from 198,644 units in April 2020.

Excluding Quebec, the trend was 151,072 units in May, down from 155,600 units in April 2020. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

Housing Starts in Canada – All Areas (CNW Group/Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada excluding Quebec saw a decrease of 20.4 per cent in May from April. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 21.6 per cent in May. Multiple urban starts decreased by 27.2 per cent while single-detached urban starts decreased by 3.9 per cent.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7,772 units excluding Quebec.

“Outside of Quebec, the national trend in housing starts decreased in May,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Higher multi-family starts in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces were offset by declines in British Columbia and the Prairies. We expect national starts to continue to register declines in the near term, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 measures.”

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