Housing Starts See Slight Increase

The trend in housing starts was 214,647 units in September 2020, up from 212,609 units in August 2020, says the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist, says that the national trend in housing starts was largely unchanged in September. However, multi-family starts have been very volatile in recent months, partly reflecting the impact of COVID-19. High levels of multi-family starts in July and August were largely offset by lower levels in September, leaving the trend largely unchanged. This pattern was particularly evident in Ontario, including Toronto. He expects national starts to trend lower by the end of 2020 as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators. The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 208,980 units in September, a decrease of 20.1 per cent from 261,547 units in August. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 21.1 percent in September to 195,909 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 27 per cent to 146,005 units in September while single-detached urban starts increased by 3.4 per cent to 49,904 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,071 units.