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June 2014 Housing Starts in Canada

Industry News

OTTAWA, July 9, 2014 — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 185,939 units in June compared to 184,019 in May, 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 been stable since March 2014, down from the range of 191,000 to 196,000 seen between September 2013 and February 2014. This is in line with CMHC’s analysis indicating that the new home construction market in Canada is headed for a soft landing in 2014,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Builders are expected to continue to manage their building activity to ensure that demand from buyers seeking a new unit is channeled toward unsold units, whether these are under construction or completed.”

 

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 standalone monthly SAAR was 198,185 units in June, a slight increase from 196,993 in June. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 181,979 units. Multiple urban starts decreased to 118,815 units while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 63,164 units.

 

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

 

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,206 units.

 

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.

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