Housing starts drop 10 per cent in 2023

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Seasonally adjusted housing starts for all areas in Canada fell 10 per cent in January to 223,589 units compared to 248,968 units in December on a decline in urban multi-unit starts.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. in its latest report on the annual pace of starts said new construction fell 11 per cent to 208,119 units in urban centres with populations over 10,000 as multi-unit starts declined by 14 per cent.

New construction on single detached urban homes ticked up by 0.08 per cent.

The CMHC said the six-month moving average of starts declined 2 per cent from 249,757 in December to 244, 827 in January as builders grapple with high costs and labour shortages.

The adjusted annual rate of starts fell to 197,329 in December from 204,320 in November. Starts fell 7 per cent last year from 2022.

Despite the monthly declines, the actual number of starts in urban centres rose more than 13 per cent last month to 14,878 from 13,220 in January 2023.

The increase was driven by construction of multi-unit residences such as townhomes, condos and apartments.

New construction increased by 49 per cent in Toronto but fell 44 per cent in Vancouver and 6 per cent in Montreal.

Monthly rural starts are estimated at 15,470.

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