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Start of construction in Canada (April 2024)

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Housing construction starts flat in April

    • Canadian housing starts totaled 240.2K annualized units in April, down 1% month over month from March. The six-month moving average of starts was 238.6K units in April, down 2.2% month-over-month from March.
    • New multifamily construction in urban areas fell 1% month-over-month to 178.5K units in April. Meanwhile, new urban single-family home construction rose 2% month-over-month to 41.7K units.
    • Starts in urban areas declined in 5 out of 10 provinces:
      • The biggest drags on the Canadian total were BC (-6.1k to 52.5k units) and Quebec (-4.6k to 30.4k units). Starts were also lower in Ontario (-0.6k to 69.5k units).
      • In contrast, there was an increase in launches in the Atlantic (+1.5k to 11.5k units), boosted by New Brunswick. Starts also increased in the Prairies (+9.6K to 56.3K units), supported by increases in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.

    Important implications

    • Construction starts continue at a good level, with government measures and sharply rising rents supporting the construction of practical rental apartments. Additionally, solid gains in presales achieved several years ago when borrowing costs were low are boosting condo construction. However, starts are trending downwards. And we expect them to continue to decline as the year progresses, driven by recent weakness in presales activity in key markets such as Toronto, increased construction costs and high interest rates.

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