The story of the recent deterioration in U.S. and Canadian housing starts can best be told through a series of graphs.
Both nations began this year with relatively high levels of residential groundbreakings. In January 2020, the U.S. recorded 1.617 million units seasonally adjusted at an annual rate (SAAR) and Canada, 219,000 units (also SAAR).
The decline in new home starts in the U.S. during the latest two months, however, has been brutal. First, they shrank to 1.3 million units in March, then to 0.9 million in April.