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Dec 15, 2023

Housing starts trend higher in November

The six-month trend in housing starts was higher in November at 257,777 units, which was up 0.7% from 255,876 units in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of total housing starts for all areas in Canada.

In addition, the monthly SAAR of total housing starts for all areas in Canada decreased 22% in November (212,624 units) compared to October (272,264 units), and actual 2023 year-to-date housing starts were 17% and 31% higher than the same period in 2022 in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, driven by higher multi-unit starts.

"The notable drop in the rate of housing starts in November, particularly in the multi-unit space, should not come as a major surprise and reflects tighter economic conditions impacting construction timelines. As the more difficult borrowing conditions and labour shortages now seem to be showing in the starts numbers, we can expect to see continued slower starts rates in the coming months," said Kevin Hughes, CMHC's deputy chief economist.

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