Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

May 09, 2011 08:15 ET

April 2011 Housing Starts

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 9, 2011) - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of housing starts was 179,000 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is down from 184,700 units in March 2011.

"Housing starts moved lower in April mostly because of decreases in multiple construction across the country and in rural starts," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "The multiple segment market in Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the overall decline in Canada."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 1.9 per cent to 160,100 units in April. Urban multiple starts were down by 5.1 per cent in April to 96,000 units, while single urban starts increased by 3.4 per cent to 64,100 units.

April's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 9.4 per cent in Quebec and by 8.0 per cent in Ontario. Urban starts increased by 5.3 per cent in the Prairie region, by 10.4 per cent in the Atlantic region and by 23.5 per cent in British Columbia.

Rural starts(2) were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,900 units in April.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high 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 informed decisions.

(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. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.
(2) CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 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 these centres and revises the estimate.

This release is also available on the CMHC Web site:

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

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Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Canada, all areas17,79315,513184,700179,000
Canada, rural areas1,8961,98521,50018,900
Canada, urban centres**15,89713,528163,200160,100
Canada, singles, urban centres7,3735,38262,00064,100
Canada, multiples, urban centres8,5248,146101,20096,000
Atlantic region, urban centres6405516,7007,400
Quebec, urban centres4,6453,47440,60036,800
Ontario, urban centres5,2135,29271,30065,600
Prairie region, urban centres3,2882,28326,30027,700
British Columbia, urban centres2,1111,92818,30022,600
Source: CMHC
* Seasonally adjusted annual rates
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

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