OTTAWA, March 8, 2012 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 201,100 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 198,100 units in January.
Factors contributing to the increase in housing starts include a rise in multiple housing starts in Québec, and to a lesser extent, in British Columbia. “Increases in these provinces were partially offset by decreases in multiple starts in Ontario and Atlantic Canada,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Multiple housing starts in Québec had fallen nearly 50 per cent in January, so February’s rise can be seen as a return to a more normal rate of construction.”
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 3.4 per cent to 182,800 units in February. Urban single starts rose by 3.5 per cent in February to 67,400 units. Similarly, multiple urban starts were up by 3.3 per cent to 115,400 units.
February’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 49.8 per cent in Québec, by 10.2 per cent in the Prairies, and by 9.6 per cent in British Columbia. Urban starts decreased by 15.5 per cent in Atlantic Canada and by 16.9 per cent in Ontario.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,300 units in February.
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.
For more information, call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at www.cmhc.ca/housingmarketinformation.
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:
CMHC Media Relations