Canadian housing starts showed a mixed picture in March, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
The stand-alone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) was 184,028 units in March, up slightly from 183,207 in February. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 2.7% in March to 157,217 units, led by a 6.6% cent decline in single urban starts to 60,558 units. Multiple urban starts remained relatively unchanged at 96,659 units in March, while rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 26,811 units.
March's SAARs of urban starts decreased in Ontario (-15.7%) and Quebec (-13.5%). Urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada (27.1%), the Prairies (13.8%) and British Columbia (13.1%).
‘Builders are adjusting to lower housing demand and, as a result, completed and unoccupied units per capita remain relatively close to their historical average,’ says Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at the CMHC.