housing starts

Housing starts trend higher in November: CMHC

Monday, December 14, 2015

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canadian housing starts trended upward in November at 208,401 units, compared to 206,125 in October. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The trend in housing starts increased for a seventh consecutive month due to the multi-unit segment,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist, in a press release. “Rising single home prices continue to support demand for multiples, which are poised to reach the largest proportion of total urban starts since 1971. However, inventory management is necessary to make sure that these units do not remain unsold upon completion.”

CMHC uses the trend measure in conjunction with the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for swings in monthly estimates and to achieve a more accurate picture of the state of Canada’s housing market. In some cases, the SAAR alone can be misleading as it is largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market, which can vary greatly from month to month.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 211,916 units in November, an increase from October’s 197,712 units. The SAAR of urban starts grew by 7.7 per cent in November to 195,121 units. Multi-unit urban starts grew by 13.2 per cent to 197,898 units in November, while single-detached urban starts fell by 3.6 per cent to 57,223 units.

The SAAR of urban starts increased in the Prairies, Ontario and Atlantic Canada in November, but fell in British Columbia and Quebec.

Rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 16,795 units.

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