The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports that as of September 2018, 207,768 housing starts, trending down from August which saw over 6 thousand more housing starts.

September shows a 19-month low, then after a month of a steady from in the past five months, according to CMHC’s chief economist, Bob Dugan. He believes this to be in response to lower single-detached and multi-starts activity. The drop actually brings new residential construction nearer to its long-run average back down to earth from the inflated numbers of 2017.

Monthly Highlights of Housing


As of September this year, the Vancouver CMA saw starts trend lower with fewer projects in the single-detached and multi-family sectors begun. Surrey saw the most action, with a quarter of all recorded starts. Vancouver CMA is still on pace to equal the record numbers from the first nine months of last year, suggesting the demand for housing continues to be exponential.


Kelowna CMA so the house starts trend fizzle slightly in September because of a decrease in new construction, single-detached, and multi-unit segments. Kelowna won’t equal last year’s record-setting number, but due to the surge of the first nine months of the year, will be well ahead of the 10-year average.


September saw housing starts on the rise throughout Saskatoon due to trending single-detached and multi-family starts but is still a 17% decrease from last September as a result of less single-detached starts.


Winnipeg enjoyed a fruitful September as housing starts continue to trend higher. The month saw the birth of several condominium projects and multi-family starts are 3% above last year’s levels. Unfortunately, total starts are 5% below last year, because overabundant inventories of a single-detached home have put somewhat of a halt on this particular market segment.


As a whole, housing starts saw a Boost in Ontario’s capital this month. The decline in single-detached starts was neutralized by trending multi-unit starts – with semi-detached units leading the way, seeing the most starts since September 2004, a monumental surge aided by these units’ affordability.

St. Catharines-Niagara

After a rough few months, St. Catharines-Niagara has seen positive movement in housing start trends, which can be attributed to the apartment sector. Single-detached construction is trending down to worse than it’s been in seven years. A leveled out the resale market and expensive mortgage-borrowing have stifled housing demand for the more pricey homes.


Single-detached starts got stuck in quicksand in Brantford, slowing down for the first time since January this year, slowing September starts exponentially due to the majority of new homes in Brantford being single-detached. However, single-detached starts have eclipsed their annual totals from the past ten years.

Province of Québec

Quebec saw a decrease in the third quarter but is still trending slightly upwards compared to last year’s housing starts because apartment rental starts in Montreal.


Halifax’s housing starts trended higher in September, largely due to apartment construction. Higher employment and quality gains in the population have added a boost to the rental market demand. Multiple starts have increased by 21% compared to last September. Single-detached starts have awoken from their slumber of that past two months, rising 11% from last year.  

impacted by continued strength in apartment construction. Improving employment levels and strong population gains are supporting a growing rental market demand with multiples starts expanding by 21% this month, year-over-year. After remaining flat for the past two months, single-detached starts also picked up the pace in September, increasing by 11% compared to last year.

The monthly SAAR of housing starts for all of Canada was 188,683 units in September, down from 198,843 units the previous month. The SAAR of urban starts dropped 5.9% in September to 175,653 units. Multiple urban starts saw a drop of 8.9% to 122,656 units in September, and single-detached urban starts increased by 2.0% to 52,997 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,030 units.