SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Scott Bampton, Elizabeth White, Glenn Rossman, Pat Romanski, Cynthia Dunlop

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December 2013 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 01/09/14 -- Housing starts in Canada were trending at 195,760 units in December compared to 196,430 in November, 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.

"The trend in housing starts has remained essentially stable since October 2013. Housing demand continues to be healthy in Canada. The trend in existing home sales has been increasing since April 2013, while the trend in inventories of newly completed and unabsorbed homes has been declining at a modest pace since September 2013," said Bruno Duhamel, Manager of Economic and Housing Analysis 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 189,672 units in December, a decrease from 197,797 in November. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 5.1 per cent in December to 168,214 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 4.1 per cent to 108,910 units in December while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased by 6.7 per cent to 59,304 units.

In December, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia and Quebec while decreasing in the Prairies, Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

Rural starts(2) were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,458 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables


(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.

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.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

This release is also available at www.cmhc.ca.

Additional data is available upon request.

(Ce document existe egalement en francais)

A graph and a table are available at the following address: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/920867_visuals_ENG.pdf

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