Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

September 09, 2014 08:13 ET

August 2014 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 9, 2014) - The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 189,837 units in August compared to 189,596 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)1of housing starts.

"The currently elevated level of inventory of newly completed and unoccupied condominiums, and units under construction, supports CMHC's view that condominium starts will likely see a declining trend over the coming months as developers and builders seek to limit risks of over-building," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist. "However, there may still be some variability from month to month as the number of presales for some planned condominium projects reaches sufficient levels to trigger project start," added Dugan.

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, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 192,368 units in August, down from 199,813 in July. The SAAR of urban starts decreased to 175,668 in August, from 182,524 in July. Multiple urban starts in August decreased to 110,842 units while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased to 64,826 units.

In August, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, and increased in British Columbia and the Prairies. Urban starts remained essentially unchanged in Quebec compared to July.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,700 units.

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.

2CMHC 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.

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 www.cmhc.ca.

Additional data is available upon request.

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A table and a graph are available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/966841a.pdf

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