Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

September 10, 2013 08:13 ET

August 2013 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 10, 2013) - Housing starts in Canada were trending at 187,197 units in August compared to 187,324 in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.

"The trend in total housing starts continued to be relatively stable for a sixth consecutive month, remaining within a narrow range of roughly 182,000 to 188,000 units since March 2013. This is in line with our forecasts," said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 180,291 units in August, down from 193,021 in July. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 5.8 per cent in August to 163,102 units, mostly reflecting a decline in the multiple starts segments in August. Specifically, multiple urban starts decreased by 8.4 per cent to 104,704 units in August while the single urban starts segment registered a slight decline of 0.9 per cent to 58,398 units.

In August, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario, held steady in Atlantic Canada while decreasing in all other regions, including the Prairies, British Columbia and Quebec.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,189 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

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 housing solutions. 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.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca.

This release is also available at

Additional data is available upon request.

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A graph and a table are available at the following link:

(1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, 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 allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. 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.

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