Both single- and multi-family seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) for housing starts in Canada rose in January, rebounding strongly from drops in December and driving the overall trend higher. 

Bob Dugan, chief economist at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said single-family starts were particularly strong in Montreal, reaching their highest level since February 2008. 

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada (excluding Kelowna, B.C. due to COVID-19), was 281,389 units in January, an increase of 22.7 per cent from 229,350 units in December. Including Kelowna, the stand-alone monthly SAAR was 282,428 units in January, an increase of 23.1 per cent from December. 

Urban housing starts up by 27.2 per cent in January 

Excluding Kelowna, urban starts increased by 27.2 per cent in January to 265,838 units. Multiple urban starts were up 23.9 per cent to 192,956 units in January while single-detached urban starts rose by 36.8 per cent to 72,882 units. 

Urban housing starts, including Kelowna, increased a similar 27.7 per cent in January to 266,877 units. Multiple urban starts rose 24.1 per cent to 193,328 units in January while single-detached urban starts were up 38.1 per cent to 73,549 units. 

Canadian MLS Systems reported that prices were up 16.6 per cent compared to last January in Montreal. Meanwhile, year-over-year price gains were in the 10-15 per cent range on Vancouver Island, Chilliwack, the Okanagan Valley, Winnipeg, the greater Toronto area and Mississauga, ON. Prices rose in the 5-10 per cent range in Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Regina and Saskatoon. Home prices were up 2 per cent and 2.2 per cent in Calgary and Edmonton, respectively.