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 the state of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 201,705 units in May, up from 183,329 units in April. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 10.8 per cent in May to 185,235 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 16.9 per cent to 126,367 units in May, while the single-detached urban starts segment essentially held steady at 58,868 units.
In May, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Québec, while it decreased in British Columbia and the Prairies.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,470 units.