CMHC says annual pace of housing starts in May up 10 per cent from April

On June 17, the housing agency said the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in May amounted to 264,506 units, up from 241,111 in April.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts in May climbed 10 per cent compared with April, helped by gains in Montreal and Toronto. New homes are built in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The annual pace of housing starts in May climbed 10 per cent compared with April, helped by gains in Montreal and Toronto, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said.

The housing agency said June 17 the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in May amounted to 264,506 units, up from 241,111 in April.

BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic said it was a solid level of output given tougher market conditions.

“As it stands now, the number of units under construction is trending near record highs in absolute terms, and matching the 1970s building boom relative to the size of the adult population,” Kavcic wrote in a report.

The cost of housing has been a key political issue with the federal government working to improve affordability. Ottawa has announced new tax incentives and spending in an attempt to solve the current housing crisis.

The reading for housing starts in May came as the annual pace of starts in Montreal more than doubled with an increase of 104 per cent and Toronto gained 47 per cent, both boosted by multi-unit starts.

The pace of starts in Vancouver for May fell 32 per cent compared with April.

CMHC said the overall annual pace of urban housing starts was 246,111 units in Canada, up 11 per cent from 221,376 in April. The annual pace of multi-unit urban starts increased 13 per cent to 203,141, while single-detached urban starts rose two per cent to 42,970.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of rural starts was estimated at 18,395.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate was up 3.8 per cent at 247,830 units in May compared with 238,859 units in April.

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