According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), August housing starts took an unexpected turn with the number of units built rising to their highest level since June 2018. The national trend in housing starts increased to 218,998 units compared to July’s 208,931 housing starts.
The national trend in new #housing construction increased in August 2019, up to 218,998 units, the highest trend since June 2018. 🏠 Learn more ➡️ https://t.co/NtMq3JjhvE #CDNre pic.twitter.com/QoeBdZdcBF
— CMHC (@CMHC_ca) September 10, 2019
The standalone monthly “seasonally adjusted annual rates” (SAAR) of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 226,639 units in August, up 1.9 per cent from 222,467 units in July. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 2 per cent in August to 213,663 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 1.4 per cent to 160,388 units in August while single-detached urban starts increased by 13.6 per cent to 53,275 units.
After nearly a year of declines, there has been a higher trend in single-detached starts, especially in urban centres. This bounce-back has come with a slight increase in the average price per detached home as well, with more than 50 per cent of neighbourhoods in the GTA reporting a rise in detached housing values, according to RE/MAX.
This August, the Toronto Real Estate Board found that detached homes in the GTA climbed to a benchmark price of $943,3000 this past July up from 2.45 per cent last year. The housing start trend can also be explained by an increase in multi-family units.
In 2018, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association noted that strengthening multi-unit sales could buffer the real estate market correction. The lack of affordable housing within urban centres has driven more people to purchase and develop multi-family homes – including high-rise, mid-rise and stacked townhouse units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,976 units.