October 2012 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA, November 8, 2012 — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 218,392 units annually in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 204,107 units in October, down from 223,995 in September.

“The monthly decrease in total housing starts posted in October was mostly due to a decrease in both single and multiple starts in urban centres in Quebec and the Prairies. Multiple starts also declined in many urban centres in Ontario, more than offsetting an increase in such starts in Toronto,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.

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, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets, which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 10.1 per cent to 182,134 units in October. Urban single starts decreased by 7.6 per cent in October to 62,402 units, while multiple urban starts decreased by 11.4 per cent to 119,732 units.

October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in all regions in October, declining by 1.5 per cent in British Columbia, 6.4 per cent in Ontario, 12.3 per cent in the Prairies, 16.8 per cent in Atlantic Canada and 16.9 per cent in Quebec.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,973 units in October.

Preliminary Housing Starts data are 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.

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.

Additional data is available upon request.

Information on this release:

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2799
csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Preliminary Housing Start Data
October / 2011 – 2012
Canada    October 2011 October 2012
Actual, all areas  18,840  17,507
Actual, rural areas  1,972  1,895
Actual, urban centres1    
October — Single-Detached  5,798  5,387
October — Multiples  11,070  10,225
October — Total  16,868  15,612
January to Oct. — Single-Detached  55,295  55,863
January to October — Multiples  88,911  106,236
January to October — Total  144,206  162,099
   September 2012 October 2012
SAAR2 , all areas  223,995  204,107
SAAR, rural areas  21,410  21,973
SAAR, urban centres1    
Single-Detached  67,520  62,402
Multiples  135,065  119,732
Total  202,585  182,134
Atlantic region, urban centres  14,933  12,429
Quebec, urban centres  41,810  34,741
Ontario, urban centres  70,240  65,723
Prairie region, urban centres  48,418  42,453
British Columbia, urban centres  27,184  26,788

Source: CMHC
1 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
2 Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates
Detailed data available upon request.

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