April 2013 Housing Starts in Canada: CMHC

 In Real Estate Market News


Housing starts in Canada were trending at 182,754 units in April compared to 188,369 in March, 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.


“As expected, the trend in total housing starts continued to moderate in April. As a result, it drew closer to its historical average and is in-line with estimates of household formation. Recent moderation in total housing starts has been led by the multiple starts segment, particularly in Ontario,” 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 in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.


The standalone monthly SAAR was 174,858 units in April, down from 181,146 in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 2.5 per cent in April to 153,528 units, led by a 3.5 per cent decline in multiple urban starts to 93,469 units. Single urban starts remained relatively unchanged from March at 60,059 units in April.


April’s seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts decreased in Atlantic Canada (-40.8 per cent), Ontario (-14.9 per cent) and British Columbia (-5.6 per cent). Urban starts increased in Quebec (14.8 per cent) and the Prairies (9.3 per cent).


Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,330 units in April.


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 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.


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.


Information on this release:

Charles Sauriol
Media Relations, CMHC

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Preliminary Housing Start Data
April 2013
March 2013 April 2013
Trend1, all areas 188,369 182,754
SAAR, all areas 181,146 174,858
SAAR, rural areas 23,715 21,330
SAAR, urban centres2
Single-Detached 60,586 60,059
Multiples 96,845 93,469
Total 157,431 153,528
Atlantic, urban centres2 7,524 4,457
Quebec, urban centres2 28,688 32,935
Ontario, urban centres2 52,700 44,874
Prairies, urban centres2 44,155 48,253
British Columbia, urban centres2 24,364 23,009
Canada April 2012 April 2013
Actual, all areas 21,749 15,390
Actual, rural areas 1,906 2,163
Actual, urban centres2
April — Single-Detached 6,385 5,276
April — Multiples 13,458 7,951
April — Total 19,843 13,227
January to April — Single-Detached 17,751 15,909
January to April — Multiples 39,772 28,576
January to April — Total 57,523 44,485


Source: CMHC
1 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).
2 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request



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