CMHC Announces that November Starts See Slight Increase 

The national trend in housing starts was essentially unchanged in November, reflecting slight increases in the national trends of both multi-family and single-detached starts. Vancouver saw a significant decline in the trend of multi-unit starts for a second consecutive month in November, following a period of elevated construction activity earlier in the year. However, this decline was offset by modest gains in the multi-unit trend in most other major markets, including Toronto.

The trend in housing starts was 219,047 units in November 2019, compared to 218,253 units in October 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 standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 201,318 units in November, a slight increase of 0.3% from 200,674 units in October. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 0.4% in November to 188,559 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 2.3% to 141,753 units in November while single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.1% to 46,806 units. 

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,759 units. 

Source: CMHC

Statistics Canada Building Permits Report: October 2019 

The total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 1.5% to $8.3 billion in October. Declines were reported in five provinces, with the largest decrease in British Columbia (-21.2% to $1.3 billion). 

Quebec offset some of this decline, with the value of building permits in that province rising 12.3% to $1.7 billion. 

Residential permits down
The total value of residential permits fell below $5 billion in October for the first time since March 2019. The value of permits declined for both single (-2.9%) and multi-family (-3.4%) dwellings. 

Increase in the value of institutional permits
The value of institutional permits rose 24.9% to $765 million in October, largely due to gains in Manitoba (+$79 million) and Ontario (+$72 million).

The value of commercial permits decreased 5.3% to $2.0 billion. Gains were reported in eight provinces, led by Quebec (+$161 million), but this was not enough to offset a sizeable decline in British Columbia (-$317 million). 

Industrial permits decreased 1.1% to $604 million.

Manitoba permits reach record high
Manitoba reported gains in all categories of permits in October, with the total value increasing 74.3% to a record high of $438 million. This increase was largely attributable to high value permits issued in Winnipeg. The mixed-use development True North Square drove gains in multi-family and commercial permits. Institutional permits reached their highest value since April 2003, largely due to an expansion at Red River College. Major upgrades to a water treatment plant in Brandon significantly contributed to the value of industrial permits, which more than doubled compared with September.

Source:Glass Canada
Source: Statistics Canada

Canadian Home Sales Edge Higher in November 

Statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales continued to edge higher in November 2019.

“Home prices look set to continue rising in housing markets where sales are recovering amid an ongoing shortage of supply,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “By the same token, home prices will likely continue trending lower in places where there’s a significant overhang of supply, perpetuated in part by the B-20 mortgage stress-test that continues to sideline homebuyers there.”

The increase in sales came as the national average price for a home sold in November was about $529,000, up 8.4% compared with a year ago. Excluding Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver, the average price was around $404,000, up 6.9% compared with last year. The MLS home price index rose 2.6% year over year to $638,300.

Price gains also saw regional variances, with the Greater Vancouver benchmark price down 4.59% from a year ago and Prairie home prices also down, while Greater Toronto saw gains of 6.52%, Greater Montreal had gains of 8.72%, and Ottawa registered gains of 11.45%.

“Sales continue to improve in some regions and not so much in others,” said Jason Stephen, president of CREA in the release.

In its updated outlook, the association says it expects home sales this year to total 486,800, while it says the national average price is on track to rise 2.3%.


  • National home sales rose 0.6% month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 11.3% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed properties dropped by 2.7% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) advanced by 0.8% m-o-m and 2.6% y-o-y.
  • The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price climbed 8.4% y-o-y.


Visit the CREA website for the full release.
Source: The Star