Housing starts in Canada declined to 215,365 units in January 2023 – down 13 per cent compared to just a month earlier.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), both the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) and the 6-month trend of housing starts declined nationally at the start of the year. This marks the lowest levels of housing starts since September 2020.

The CMHC cites significant declines in Toronto and Vancouver as the driving force for the overall monthly slowdown. Housing starts in Toronto decreased by 52 percent, while Vancouver saw a 14 percent decrease.

Among the country’s three largest cities (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver), Montreal was the only location that saw an increase in SAAR housing starts – up 36 per cent from the previous month.

Nationally, the SAAR of urban starts declined 16 per cent to 191,491 units, and single-detached urban starts increased by 3 per cent to 45,224 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted rate of 23,874 units.

Multi-unit urban starts saw the greatest decline of 20 percent to 146,267 units.

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