The multi-family sector was the driver of increased permits issued by Canadian municipalities in January.
Statistics Canada says that permits issued for multi-family in Ontario totalled $974 million, a 71% surge following a near-40% drop in December.
Nationally, apartments accounted for around three quarters of the value of permits issued for multi-family homes. Multi-family permits were up 14.2% from December while single-family permits dropped 1.3% by value.
The total value of residential permits issued was $5.32 billion, up 5.9% from $5.03 billion in December.
Meanwhile, there was a slight rise in the 6-month trend measure of housing starts in February with CMHC reporting a trend of 225,276 units compared to 224,572 in January.
“The national trend in housing starts has been very stable since November 2017, masking offsetting trends for multi-unit and single-detached dwellings,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “Multi-unit starts have trended higher in recent months in most major urban centres while single-detached starts have trended lower.”
Highlights include a significant rise in starts in Victoria, dominated by new apartment rentals and condos. Rental apartments were also the big driver of starts in Montreal.
Toronto and Vancouver saw increases in overall starts with condos and rental units again leading the rise.