Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 08, 2014 08:15 ET

March 2014 Housing Starts in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2014) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 55,150 units in March, compared to 58,588 units in February, 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.

"While residential construction activity slowed sharply in March, the decline was not broad based but rather focused solely in the more volatile apartment sector. In fact, seasonally adjusted low density construction activity posted growth in March. Starts should bounce back closer to trend levels in the second quarter. This reversal of activity will be supported by an improving labour market, low interest rates and a backlog of apartment sales registered in years past that have yet to commence construction," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

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, analysing 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 variable from one month to the next.

The SAAR of total housing starts was 37,094 units in March, down from 57,675 units in February. Two thirds of Ontario centres registered declining starts. Despite declining apartment construction, single detached, semi detached and row construction actually grew in March on a trend basis. For the year ending March, Ontario raw urban starts were 4 per cent below levels this time last year.

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 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

(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.

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/938369a.pdf

Contact Information

  • Market Analysis Contact:
    Ted Tsiakopoulos
    416-218-3407
    Cell: 416-579-4992
    ttsiakop@cmhc.ca

    Media Contact:
    Beth Bailey
    416-218-3355
    Cell: 416-988-4615
    bbailey@cmhc.ca