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Housing Market Index

(includes single detached homes, semi-detached homes and row (townhouse) homes)


(includes stacked townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, double duplexes and row duplexes, and low and high-rise apartment buildings)


Properties of the HMI

(i.e. how to read the number)

  • The HMI is on a scale of 0 to 100
  • It's 0 only when everyone says conditions are "poor"
  • It's 100 only when everyone says conditions are "good"
  • It's 50 when the % saying "good" = the % saying "poor"

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2024 Q1 HMI

This page outlines the Q1 2024 results for the CHBA Housing Market Index (HMI). This informative research and economics product provides a much-needed leading indicator about the current and future health of the residential construction industry in Canada.

The data for the CHBA HMI comes from an exclusive panel of CHBA homebuilders from coast to coast. Every quarter, this panel – which is created in collaboration with our local and provincial home builders’ associations across Canada – responds to a series of questions about market conditions. CHBA then uses proprietary statistical analysis to prepare the quarterly HMI. In addition to the standard HMI questions, each quarter CHBA asks “special questions” that allow the Association to gather data and insights into current issues affecting the industry across the country.

CHBA’s HMI was modelled on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) very successful and influential US version. The NAHB version is used regularly by financial analysts, the Federal Reserve, policymakers, economic analysts, and the news media, given the importance of the health of the residential construction industry to the overall economy. Through the CHBA HMI, CHBA has done the same for Canada, where it is being used and followed by similar Canadian agencies (e.g. Bank of Canada, Statistics Canada), government policymakers, economists/analysts and media.

If you have any questions or feedback about the CHBA HMI, please contact

Summary for Q1 2024 HMI

Builder sentiment remained negative in Q1 as mortgage affordability weighed on demand

For a seventh consecutive quarter, both CHBA’s single-family and multi-family Housing Market Index (HMI) showed very negative homebuilder sentiment—with values in the 30s (on a scale of 100). While there was some improvement over sentiment in Q4 2023, as the expectation of easing monetary policy factored into builders’ assessment of current and future sales conditions, the HMI remained low, pointing to lower starts in the year ahead. The Q1 2024 single-family HMI was 34.9, up from a historical low of 24.6 in Q4 2023 and equivalent to what was recorded a year ago in Q1. The Q1 2024 multi-family HMI was 37.9, a rebound from last quarter’s index score of 29.1 and moderately above the 33.5 reported a year ago. As with previous quarters, reports of poor sales conditions were broadest among builders in Ontario. These Q1 results reinforce how important it was that the federal government come out with a strong housing budget and address restrictive mortgage rules.

The results of both HMIs resoundingly illustrate how builders, on balance, continue to struggle with sales of new homes—with both indices far below the neutral sentiment score of 50. However, the modest quarter-over-quarter improvement in sales conditions was partly related to the possibility of lower interest rates coming in the next few months. The consensus view is that the Bank of Canada will begin to lower the policy rate at its June or July policy announcements, although this is not a certainty. This has likely lifted the view on current selling conditions as it caused some to become more serious about their purchasing decisions, with the expectation that waiting for lower mortgage rate offerings will come at the expense of a higher selling price. Additionally, builder expectations about the selling conditions over the next six months were lifted to a degree in anticipation of the change.

Despite this slight rise in expectations, Q1 still showed that builders were expecting weak sales with fewer starts in the months ahead. This has already been reflected in ground-oriented housing starts and is expected to be increasingly felt within multi-family high-rise construction as well, as starts for projects approved prior to the rise in interest rates wain. 54% of builders stated that they expect their housing starts in 2024 to be below their level of starts in 2023. As the Bank of Canada’s 5.0% policy rate continues to progressively weigh on the home construction activity and broader economy, 65% of builders said that the level of interest rates have directly caused them to build fewer units than they would have otherwise, and 31% stated they have cancelled projects.

The results of the survey also updated the prevalence of industry-wide headwinds. Most builders have previously stated that municipal processes are a major limitation to construction, with a third of respondents stating that it can take more than 6 months to receive their permit issuance. With respect to construction underway, 29% of builders are experiencing delays because of labour shortages. Given the ambitious targets for new construction over the remainder of the decade, addressing these structural industry challenges will be an important part of improving affordability and creating more housing supply.

Given the results of CHBA’s HMI for Q1, CHBA applauds the federal government’s new Federal Housing Plan that outlines comprehensive policy changes and strategies to build more homes to address the housing supply gap. Of high importance was announcing the change to allow 30-year amortization periods for insured mortgages for new construction for first-time buyers. This measure will support more housing starts later in the year, helping to make homeownership a reality for more Canadians. It will increase the ability to access the market where it is most needed and warranted—entry-level new homes—to chip away at Canada’s housing supply gap; this approach also avoids increasing demand in the existing housing market to avoid price escalation there. While the effects of the other measures like infrastructure investments tied to housing outcomes may not be felt immediately, these policy changes signal that the housing crisis is receiving the political attention it deserves. It will be important that all levels of government introduce cohesive policy that works in the same housing-supportive direction.