Canada's Condominium Magazine

Home building starts up for Ontario 50%; up 58% multi-residences and condos in Toronto, 29% for all types

Builders are pushing forward with new home building, largely unaffected by the sales-pause in the real estate market. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp data shows Ontario growth August starts up 29% in August last year — even though last year was a hot market. Other hot markets for building starts included Manitoba at 45%, Nova Scotia at 54%, and Alberta at 33%. Underperforming were New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia (at only 4%).


Housing starts are up August 2017 over previous year — substantially in some provinces, such as Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. The infographic is in % growth year-over-year. Data from CMHC. Infographic by


New home starts are more influenced by inventory — which is currently too low in the hotter markets — rather than by resale market forces. Inventory is also low in rentals — which is also reflected in these numbers. As long as there is high demand, new starts will likely remain strong. In Ontario, with the greatest shortage of listings against demand, growth was 29%, versus Quebec, for example, which has reasonable inventory and more moderate growth of 19%.

Multi-residential growing fastest at 50%

Multi-residential, which includes both townhomes and apartment dwellings, grew the most in Ontario at 50%, up to 5,853 from 3,908 in the same period last year. Meanwhile, single-detached actually declined 3% from 2,487 in 2017 versus 2,552 in 2016.

In Toronto, Ontario’s hottest market, multi-residential starts were up a sizable 58% up to 3,725 from 2,363 last year. This indicates a shortage of inventory, and again supports the move in preference towards condominiums and away from more expensive single-family dwellings in Toronto particularly. In Toronto, single-family dwelling starts are down 25%, in contrast to multi-dwellings, down to 887 from 1,183. [For a story on the shift to condos as a preference see>>]


CMHC data for housing starts by province.


The multi-residential start numbers by province

The start numbers follow the logic of low inventory equals more starts in the provinces. In areas with sufficient inventory, numbers are down. Here’s a basic rundown by province for multi-residential (excluding single-family detached):

  • Ontario up 50% to 5,853 from 3,908
  • Quebec up 21% to 2,024 from 1,679
  • BC up 7% to 2,168 from 2,018
  • Manitoba up a huge 98% although it’s a smaller unit number at 367 up from 185
  • Saskatchewan up 6% at 348 versus 328
  • Alberta up 21% at 959 versus 790
  • Atlantic Canada up 1% at 242 versus 240 (pulled up mostly by Nova Scotia at 74%)






Auberge on the Park-Tridel


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