Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

September 11, 2012 08:15 ET

Quebec August 2012 Housing Starts

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2012) - In Quebec urban centres, the number of housing starts was trending at 42,600 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 39,700 units in August, down from 44,000 in July.

"Starts of single detached homes have kept a stable rate. As far as multi-family starts are concerned, we observed a slower pace this past month. We still believe that the pace of housing starts for apartments will decrease in the last quarter of the year," explains Kevin Hughes, Regional Economist at CMHC for Quebec

For some markets, 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. Analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets in some situations, as housing starts are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets, which can be quite unpredictable from one month to the next.

Elsewhere in the country, August's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in all other regions. In each region, the increase was mainly due to changes in multiple starts.

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.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at

(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.

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Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
August August July August
2011 2012 2012 2012
Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 17,042 19,860 208,000 224,900
Canada, rural areas 2,104 2,135 21,200 19,000
Canada, urban centres** 14,938 17,725 186,800 205,900
Canada, singles, urban centres 6,359 6,015 64,200 64,300
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,579 11,710 122,600 141,600
Atlantic region, urban centres 795 1,112 8,000 11,800
Quebec, urban centres 2,707 2,807 44,000 39,700
Ontario, urban centres 5,949 7,744 72,200 86,900
Prairie region, urban centres 3,430 3,582 38,400 38,900
British Columbia, urban centres 2,057 2,480 24,200 28,600
Source: CMHC
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates.
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

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