January 18, 2022 | 08:58
Canadian Housing Starts (Dec.)
Canadian housing starts fell 22% to 236,106 annualized units in December, but only after the number of starts in November was revised up to a massive 303,813 annualized units. Despite these monthly swings, the level of starts remains above its historic trend. The six-month moving average was 260,567 units, still comparable to building booms in the 1970s and 1980s. The volatile multi-unit segment fell 29% after surging over 40% in November. Meantime, single-family homes, which have fuelled much of the price gains during the pandemic, declined 4.2%.
Among the major cities, Vancouver saw an increase while Toronto and Montreal posted declines in December.
Bottom Line: Canada’s housing market remains extremely strong, and price strength is largely driven by sky-high demand rather than lack of supply. Starts remain at historically elevated levels and homebuilding is well supported, though future policy moves will likely be what ultimately cools still-robust demand.