The trend in housing starts was 279,055 units in April 2021, up from 272,164 units in March 2021, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“The national trend in housing starts remained elevated in April, despite a decline in the level of monthly SAAR starts from the record high set in March,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “In April, multi-family SAAR starts declined or moderated in most CMAs that had seen strong growth in this segment the previous month, including Toronto and Vancouver. Single-detached SAAR starts held steady following a modest increase in March. Nonetheless, the overall trend-level of activity remains elevated as a result of strong activity so far this year.”
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of Canada’s housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as the multi-unit segment largely drives the market and can vary significantly from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 268,631 units in April, a decrease of 19.8% from 334,759 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 16.9% in April to 251,504 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 22.8% to 251,504 units in April while single-detached urban starts decreased a slight 0.1% to 78,918 units.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,127 units.