Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

February 05, 2016 12:25 ET

Canadian Housing Starts Trend Lower in January

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2016) - The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,169 units in January compared to 203,304 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"Housing starts trended down across the country with the exception of Ontario," said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. "The overall decline is mostly attributable to a slowdown in the Prairies where the housing starts trend was at a 4-year low in January. The slowdown in new housing activity coincides with an unemployment rate that is at a 5-year high in Alberta".

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 Canada's housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 165,861 units in January, down from 172,533 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 3.0 per cent in January to 153,701 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 5.3 per cent to 95,406 units in January and the single-detached urban starts increased by 1.0 per cent to 58,295 units.

In January, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in Québec, the Prairies and British Columbia, but increased in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,160 units.

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

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For more information, visit our website at www.cmhc.ca or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

This release is also available at www.cmhc.ca.

Additional data is available upon request.

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To view the graph and tables associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/1042078e.pdf

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