Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

February 09, 2015 08:13 ET

January 2015 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2015) - The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 188,956 units in January compared to 191,627 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)(1) of housing starts.

"The trend in total housing starts has been moderating since September 2014, reflecting lower trends in both multiple and single-detached starts," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist. "Overall, economic and demographic factors remain supportive of housing demand. The moderation in new home construction reflects inventory management by builders and is in line with CMHC's expectations."

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 187,276 units in January, up from 179,637 units in December. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 172,322 in January, from 161,940 in December. The increase was led by multiple urban starts, which increased to 115,008 units in January from 102,384 in December, while single-detached urban starts decreased to 57,314 units from 59,556.

Urban housing starts saw relatively large gains in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, while urban housing starts registered a modest gain in Ontario and declines in British Columbia and Québec.

Rural starts(2) were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14,954 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.
(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.

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.

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/991147_ENG.pdf

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