Photo: James Bombales

Toronto saw an uptick in the number of seasonally adjusted housing starts according to a market report published by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) this week.

CMHC defines a housing start as when construction begins on a building where a dwelling unit is located, usually when concrete has been poured for the footing around the structure, or the equivalent stage when a basement is not part of the structure.

For September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of housing starts in Toronto was 55,291 units, up 19 per cent from August when 46,425 starts were reported.

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For single-detached homes, SAAR starts dropped 20 per cent between August to September, falling from 7,389 starts to 5,875 starts. When it comes to “All Others” housing types, monthly SAAR Toronto starts jumped from 39,036 to 49,416, a difference of 27 per cent.

When analysing housing start data in centres where the population is 10,000 people and over, Toronto reported 4,612 starts in September, up 65 per cent from 2,791 starts during the same period last year.

At the national level, CMHC reported 271,068 housing starts in September, a drop from 284,757 starts recorded in August. This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly SAAR of housing starts, the organization explained.

“​​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,” the organization explained in its report.

Photo: James Bombales

For all areas in Canada, the standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts was 251,151 units in September. This marks a 4.4 per cent drop from 262,754 units in August. Urban starts dipped by 4.5 per cent last month to 223,055 units. When comparing multiple urban starts and single-detached urban starts, both categories reported monthly decreases of four per cent and 5.9 per cent as starts dropped to 165,861 and 57,194 units.

“The six-month trend in housing starts declined from August to September, with total starts continuing to pull back from their earlier 2021 levels,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in the report.

“Single-detached and multi-family SAAR starts were both lower in Canada’s urban areas in September, which led to a decline in overall SAAR starts for the month. On a trend and monthly SAAR basis, however, the level of housing starts activity in Canada remains high in historical terms,” he added.

Dugan explained that between Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, the latter was the only market not to register growth in total SAAR starts during September, which is a result of declines in the multi-family segment.

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