housing starts

Canadian housing starts trend upward in October

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the trend measure of housing starts in Canada for October was 206,089 units, compared to 202,793 in September. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“New condominium and rental starts continued to push the trend higher in October,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC chief economist, in a press release. “Rental starts across urban centres are poised to reach their highest level since 1992 due to low vacancy rates in recent years.”

CMHC uses the trend measure alongside the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for fluctuations in monthly estimates and to get a clearer picture of the state of Canada’s housing market. Without the trend measure, the SAAR data can be misleading as it is largely based on the multi-unit segment of the market, which often fluctuates from month to month.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 198,065 units in October, a drop from 231,304 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts fell by 16.0 per cent in October to 181,442 units. Multi-unit urban starts dropped by 22.4 per cent to 122,187 units that month, while single-detached urban starts increased by 1.3 per cent to 59,255 units.

The SAAR of urban starts fell in Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada for October, while it increased in British Columbia. Rural starts were estimated to sit at a SAAR of 16,623 units.

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