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Housing Starts

Higher incomes and population increases are just two of the many factors influencing residential construction.

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U.S. and Canada Monthly Housing Starts

The U.S. was catching up to its northern neighbor, but then Canadian starts launched into orbit at the beginning of this year. On a relative population basis, Canada has recorded a higher level of home groundbreakings than the U.S. in every month for the past 16 straight years.

Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR).
The last data points are for April, 2021.
ARROWS: U.S. numbers to be read from left axis; Canadian from right axis.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau & Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp (CMHC) / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Per Cent Change in Year-to-date Housing Starts — Ranking of Canada’s Major Cities

Among the nation's three most populous cities, multiple-unit starts have comprised by far the largest proportion of total starts year to date. In Vancouver, multis are 89.1% of total; in Toronto, 84.6%; and in Montreal, 91.3%. For Canada's 35 CMAs, multis make up 77.9% of total units.

Jan-Apr 2021 vs Jan-Apr 2020.

Data source: Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) based on actuals rather than seasonally adjusted data.
Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

Per Cent Change in Year-to-date Housing Starts — Ranking of Canada’s Provinces

Canadian housing starts have consistently averaged 200,000 units per month seasonally adjusted & annualized (SAAR) since the turn of the century in 2000. That's why it's such extraoridinary news that in March of this year, they shot up to 335,000 units SAAR. In April, they eased back on the throttle, but still notched a lofty 269,000 units SAAR.

Jan-Apr 2021 vs Jan-Apr 2020.

Data source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) (based on actuals rather than seasonally adjusted data.)
Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

U.S. Regional Housing Starts

Northeast: April 2021 m/m = +6.2%; Midwest: m/m = +34.8%; South: m/m = +11.5%; West: m/m = +9.0%

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce).
Charts: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

U.S. Monthly Housing Starts (seasonally adjusted at annual rates)

Jan-Apr Avg. 2021 = 1.594 million units (+18.2% ytd).

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce).
Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

Canada Monthly Housing Starts (seasonally adjusted at annual rates)

Jan-Apr Avg. 2021 = 295,700 units (+50.5% ytd).

Data source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.