Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

February 09, 2009 23:59 ET

January's housing starts decline

OTTAWA, Feb. 9 - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of
housing starts declined to 153,500 units in January from 172,200 units in
December of 2008, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"To a certain extent, the decline in housing starts coincides with recent
developments in the existing home market. Reduced sales and increased listings
in the existing home market have led to reduced spillover demand in the new
home market," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 15.6 per
cent to 126,700 units in January. Urban multiple starts decreased 12.2 per
cent to 76,700 units, while urban single starts fell 20.2 per cent to 50,000
units in January.

January's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts moderated in
all of Canada's five regions. Urban starts declined 8.6 per cent in Atlantic
Canada, 1.4 per cent in Quebec, 14.6 per cent in Ontario, 30.3 per cent in the
Prairies, and 29.1 per cent in British Columbia.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
26,800 units in January(2).

Actual starts in rural and urban areas combined decreased by an estimated
29.2 per cent in January this year compared to relatively high levels in
January last year. Actual starts in urban areas have decreased by an estimated
40.4 per cent compared to the same month in 2008. Actual urban single starts
for 2009 are 44.2 per cent lower than they were a year earlier while urban
multiple starts are down 38.1 per cent.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

Please click below to view the Housing Starts in Canada - All areas chart

(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.
(2) CMHC estimates the level of rural starts 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 rural areas and revises the

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

This release is also available on the
CMHC Web site:

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Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR(*)
Actual SAAR
January January December January
2008 2009 2008 2009
Final Preli- Final Preli-
minary minary
Canada, all areas 12,918 8,287 172,200 153,500
Canada, rural areas 765 1,043 22,100 26,800
Canada, urban centres(xx) 12,153 7,244 150,100 126,700
Canada, singles, urban centres 4,505 2,512 62,700 50,000
Canada, multiples,
urban centres 7,648 4,732 87,400 76,700

Atlantic region, urban centres 385 348 8,100 7,400
Quebec, urban centres 2,330 2,021 36,700 36,200
Ontario, urban centres 4,254 2,873 60,300 51,500
Prairie region, urban centres 2,881 1,077 25,100 17,500
British Columbia,
urban centres 2,303 925 19,900 14,100
Source: CMHC
(*) Seasonally adjusted annual rates
(xx) Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

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