CMHL Housing Supply Report - Canadian Metropolitan Areas
- After a boom recorded last year, housing starts in the country’s six largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs) fell 5% in the first half of 2022. The decrease observed for apartments (-9%) is the main cause of this drop.
- On an annualized basis, however, housing starts in the first half of 2022 remained high compared to the level of construction over the past five years. Additionally, there was a lot of contrast between the six urban centres studied. Indeed, in the first half of the year, housing starts were up in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto, while declines were observed in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montréal.
- The effects of rising interest rates and construction costs could have an even greater impact on housing starts in the coming months.
- New data on physical construction time for housing reveal important differences across centres and dwelling types, which has an impact on the affordability of the end product.
- Cities that build a lot of large, tall apartment structures will risk having housing construction sectors that are less responsive to a rapid need for new housing units. This is consistent with what is observed in Vancouver and Toronto.
- Low-rise apartment structures, such as those built in abundance in Montréal, take much less time to build than taller apartment structures with a similar number of units.