October Housing Starts

OTTAWA, November 8, 2010 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 167,900 units in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is down from 185,000 units in September.

“Housing starts moved lower in October due to a decrease in urban single starts in all regions, with the exception of Atlantic Canada,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Both single-detached and multiple starts decreased last month.”

The moderation in housing starts in October, from relatively high levels earlier in the year is consistent with CMHC’s forecast for 2010 of 184,900 units. Looking ahead into 2011, housing starts will gradually become more closely aligned with demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 12.3 per cent to 142,400 units in October. Urban multiple starts moderated by 15 per cent in October at 84,700 units, while single urban starts moved lower by 8 per cent to 57,700 units.

October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 24.5 per cent in Ontario, 16.9 per cent in the Prairie Region, 9.1 per cent in British Columbia and 2.6 per cent in Quebec. Urban starts increased by 32.9 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,500 units in October.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. 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, call 1-800-668-2642.

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. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. 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.

Information on this release:

Charles Sauriol
Media Relations

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:
Matthew Gilmore

Ted Tsiakopoulos

British Columbia:
Carol Frketich

Kevin Hughes

Prairie provinces:
Lai Sing Louie

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
  Actual SAAR
  Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 16,342 15,192 185,000 167,900
Canada, rural areas 1,738 2,211 22,700 25,500
Canada, urban centres** 14,604 12,981 162,300 142,400
Canada, singles, urban centres 6,954 5,380 62,700 57,700
Canada, multiples, urban centres 7,650 7,601 99,600 84,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 862 883 7,300 9,700
Quebec, urban centres 3,261 3,896 42,000 40,900
Ontario, urban centres 6,048 3,774 54,700 41,300
Prairie region, urban centres 2,901 2,387 31,900 26,500
British Columbia, urban centres 1,532 2,041 26,400 24,000

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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