CMHC released housing starts numbers for August 2019 and Statistics Canada released building permit details for July 2019.

Housing Starts for August 2019
The trend in housing starts was 218,998 units in August 2019, compared to 208,931 units in July 2019, 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 increased in August,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Higher trending single-detached starts in urban centres in July and August following roughly a year of declines combined with higher-trending multi-family units in August to push the total starts trend to its highest level since June 2018”.

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 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 of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 226,639 units in August, up 1.9% from 222,467 units in July. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 2.0% in August to 213,663 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 1.4% to 160,388 units in August while single-detached urban starts increased by 13.6% to 53,275 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,976 units.

Source: CISION

Building Permits, July 2019
The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities rose 3.0% to $8.3 billion in July, largely due to increases in multi-family and commercial permits. Gains were reported in five provinces, with over one-third of the national increase occurring in British Columbia. Quebec reported the largest decrease, down 4.0% to $1.6 billion due to lower construction intentions in all components of the non-residential sector.

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings rose in seven provinces, increasing 4.2% to $2.8 billion in July. The gain was led by Ontario (+$95 million) and Quebec (+$72 million), following declines the previous month in both provinces.The value of permits for single-family dwellings nationally edged down 0.2%.

The largest gain was in commercial permits, which rose 6.7% to $2.0 billion, offsetting three consecutive months of declines. The increase was largely attributable to high-value permits for office buildings in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver. Six provinces reported declines in the value of industrial permits, down 6.9% to $558 million.

Ontario issued a record high $3.5 billion in permits in July. This was the fifth consecutive monthly gain, moving the province $209 million or 6.3% higher than the same month a year earlier. Manitoba (+$56 million) and New Brunswick (+$27 million) also reported strong year-over-year gains.

Source: Statistics Canada