Multiple Urban Leads Housing Starts Increase

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 335,200 units in March, an increase of 21.6 per cent from 275,567 units in February, says the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The SAAR of urban starts increased by 24.4 per cent in March to 300,973 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 33.8 per cent to 222,358 units in March while single-detached urban starts increased by 3.6 per cent to 78,615 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 34,227 units. "The national trend in housing starts increased in March, reflecting very elevated levels of activity in January and March 2021," says Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. "Multi-family SAAR starts rebounded strongly following decline in February, with Toronto, ON, and Vancouver, BC, registering particularly large gains in this segment. Single-detached SAAR starts also contributed to the increase in the overall trend in March, but by a relatively modest amount in comparison to multi-family starts."