CMHC: Housing Starts Remained Strong in October

OTTAWA – The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 211,800 units in October, down from 218,600 units in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).“Housing starts remained strong in October and are consistent with our new home construction forecast for 2008,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The slight decrease in housing starts is the result of declines in both single-detached and multiple starts in October.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts eased 4.2 per cent in October, compared to September. Urban multiples declined in October by 6.0 per cent to 115,300 units. Urban single starts decreased 1.1 per cent to 69,300 units in October compared to September.

October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts moderated in three out of the five regions of Canada. Urban starts increased to 41,300 units in the Quebec region and to 9,600 units in Atlantic Canada. On the other hand, urban starts declined to 27,900 units in British Columbia, 26,900 units in the Prairies, and 78,900 units in Ontario. Single urban starts decreased in all regions in October, with the exception of Ontario, where they increased by 10.1 per cent.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 27,200 units in October2.
For the first ten months of 2008, actual starts in rural and urban areas combined were down an estimated 1.6 per cent, compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date actual starts in urban areas have decreased by an estimated 1.3 per cent over the same period in 2007. Actual urban single starts for the January to October period of this year were 16.3 per cent lower than they were a year earlier while urban multiple starts were up by 11.6 per cent over the same period.
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 estimate.
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.

Housing Starts in Canada - All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual
SAAR
October
2007
October
2008
September
2008
October
2008
Final
Preliminary
Final
Preliminary
Canada, all areas

20,584

19,047

218,600

211,800

Canada, rural areas

2,950

2,411

25,900

27,200

Canada, urban centres**

17,634

16,636

192,700

184,600

Canada, singles, urban centres

7,655

5,932

70,100

69,300

Canada, multiples, urban centres

9,979

10,704

122,600

115,300

Atlantic region, urban centres

796

873

9,500

9,600

Quebec, urban centres

3,561

3,907

39,500

41,300

Ontario, urban centres

5,876

7,208

80,900

78,900

Prairie region, urban centres

4,125

2,252

29,000

26,900

British Columbia, urban centres

3,276

2,396

33,800

27,900

Source: CMHC

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