Canadian Housing Starts (Jan) – February, 2021

Canadian housing starts increased by 23% m/m to 282,428 units in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), following a 12% decrease in the previous month. Housing starts increased in 6 of 10 provinces with the strongest gains in Quebec and Ontario. January’s strong performance increased the six-month moving average to a historic high of 244,963 units SAAR.

In BC, housing starts decreased by 17% m/m to 35,931 units SAAR in January, following a 12% decrease in the previous month. Building activity was down by 28% for multi-unit starts, while single-detached starts were up by 38% in January. Compared to the same time last year, housing starts were up by 24% in BC.

We can expect housing activity to continue to be supported by strong demand and historically low borrowing rates but are not expected to remain at elevated levels. The value of BC residential building permits was down by 5% in December. The good news is that after a long downward trend in the value of building permits for single-detached homes in BC, the trend started to reverse in April 2020.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.


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