Canada

Canadian Cities Slow New Home Building, But Toronto Starts Rip Over 40% Higher

Canadian cities are starting fewer new home building projects during the pandemic. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data shows urban housing starts fell in Q2 2020. Despite a general slowdown, Toronto continued to push to a multi-year high for new projects started.

Canadian Urban Housing Starts Fall

Canada’s urban housing starts fell, as housing activity slowed across the country. There were 177,825 housing starts seasonally adjusted at annual rates (SAAR) in Q2 2020, down 8.0% from the previous quarter. This is a 14.2% decrease compared to the same quarter a year before. The drop is likely due to the pandemic, but that didn’t slow down all markets.

Canadian Urban Real Estate Starts

The number of housing starts in Canadian cities with over 10,000, seasonally adjusted at annual rates.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Toronto Housing Starts Jump To Highest Level Since 2018

Greater Toronto building starts bucked the trend, actually soaring to a multi-year high. Starts hit 44,210 SAAR in Q2 2020, up a massive 46.9% from the previous quarter. This is also a massive 40.9% increase compared to the same quarter last year. Toronto is now at the highest level of starts since Q4 2018. Despite the pandemic, developers have been busy building.

Toronto Real Estate Starts

The number of housing starts in Toronto, seasonally adjusted at annual rates.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Vancouver Housing Starts Fall Over 46%

Greater Vancouver housing starts are down significantly, despite a bump in activity. Starts hit 21,375 SAAR in Q2 2020, up 14.7% from the previous quarter. The bump did little compared to last year though, with starts down 46.1% from last year. A small increase from the previous quarter, but new starts are still falling sharply.

Vancouver Real Estate Starts

The number of housing starts in Vancouver, seasonally adjusted at annual rates.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Montreal Housing Starts Fall Over 26%

Greater Montreal housing starts also made a significant decline in the last quarter. Starts reached 22,481 SAAR in Q2 2020, down 17.27% from the previous quarter. This resulted in a 26.89% decline compared to the same quarter last year. Building activity is still relatively high to historic standards, but has been slowing faster than the national average.

Montreal Real Estate Starts

The number of housing starts in Montreal, seasonally adjusted at annual rates.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Canadian housing starts in cities are generally slowing down, with a few exceptions. Some cities can chalk this up to the pandemic, which halted the economy. However, slow pre-sales and project cancellations in cities like Vancouver, are also playing a significant role.

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4 Comments

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  • Thomas 5 months ago

    Have to get the shovel in the ground, before people fail to close their contract.

    • James 5 months ago

      Adjusted down payments are big. A lot of 10% down projects now.

  • Fight Back 5 months ago

    Toronto truely have the biggest real estate bubble in the world. The worst would be this real estate bubble cause lots of problems when everyone recovers. It better to pop this bubble now than continuing to prop it up.

    The government is commiting horrible crime against young people.

    • Average dude 5 months ago

      It’s beyond a bubble now. It’s systemically integrated into our economy and has spread like a virus. We can not afford to let housing crash without causing enormous economic damage. Housing is now too big to fail.

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