Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

October 08, 2009 23:59 ET

September housing starts

OTTAWA, Oct. 8 - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of housing starts reached 150,100 units in September compared to 157,300 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"The decline in housing starts in September is attributable to the volatile multiple starts segment," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "However, starts of single homes, which are a barometer of the trend in housing markets, climbed in September to reach their highest level so far this year. The rebound in existing home sales and the upward trend in new home construction, support our expectation that housing demand has strengthened and that housing starts will be stronger in the second half of 2009."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts declined by 5.2 per cent to 131,500 units in September. Urban multiple starts decreased by 21.4 per cent to 62,700 units, while urban single starts moved up 16.8 per cent to 68,800 units in September.

September's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 11.8 per cent in Ontario, decreased by 20.2 per cent in Quebec, by 18.1 per cent in British Columbia, and by 4.7 per cent in the Atlantic, and was unchanged in the Prairies.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,600 units in September(2).

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

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                     Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
                                             Actual              SAAR
                                      September  September  August  September
                                           2008      2009     2009     2009
                                                   Prelimi-         Prelimi-
                                           Final     nary    Final    nary
    Canada, all areas                      20,179   14,801  157,300  150,100
      Canada, rural areas                   2,518    1,777   18,600   18,600
      Canada, urban centres(xx)            17,661   13,024  138,700  131,500
        Canada, singles, urban centres      6,309    6,741   58,900   68,800
        Canada, multiples, urban centres   11,352    6,283   79,800   62,700

        Atlantic region, urban centres      1,030      970    8,500    8,100
        Quebec, urban centres               3,575    3,169   43,600   34,800
        Ontario, urban centres              7,305    4,798   43,200   48,300
        Prairie region, urban centres       2,625    2,620   26,300   26,300
        British Columbia, urban centres     3,126    1,467   17,100   14,000
    Source: CMHC
    * Seasonally adjusted annual rates
    (xx) Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
         Detailed data available upon request.

    (1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are
        seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures
        adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to
        reflect annual levels.
    (2) CMHC estimates the level of rural starts for each of the three months
        of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last
        month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in rural areas and
        revises the estimate.

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