Canadian Housing Starts Trend Increases in July

OTTAWA — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 201,936 units in July compared to 197,847 in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“July’s housing starts continued to pick up pace, as construction strengthened in BC and Ontario’s multi-unit segments,” said Aled ab Iorwerth, CMHC’s Deputy Chief Economist. “This reflects continued strong demand for lower-priced homes and low inventories of completed and unsold new units.”

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 Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 198,395 units in July, down from 218,326 units in June. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 9.9 per cent in July to 182,620 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 13.3 per cent to 123,630 units in July and the single-detached urban starts decreased by 1.8 per cent to 58,990 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15,775 units.

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

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.


Preliminary Housing Start Data
July 2016
June 2016 July 2016
Trend1, all areas 197,847 201,936
SAAR, all areas 218,326 198,395
SAAR, rural areas2 15,568 15,775
SAAR, urban centres3
Single-detached 60,092 58,990
Multiples 142,666 123,620
Total 202,758 182,620
Atlantic, urban centres 6,467 5,582
Quebec, urban centres 33,296 27,344
Ontario, urban centres 84,784 72,594
Prairies, urban centres 30,189 36,050
British Columbia, urban centres 48,022 41,050
Canada July 2015 July 2016
Actual, all areas 18,115 18,555
Actual, rural areas 1,796 1,774
Actual, urban centres
July — Single-detached 5,838 6,063
July — Multiples 10,481 10,718
July — Total 16,319 16,781
January to July — Single-detached 31,425 32,527
January to July — Multiples 66,880 69,078
January to July — Total 98,305 101,605

Source: CMHC

1 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR). By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for comparison of adjacent months and quarters. The monthly and quarterly SAAR and trend figures indicate the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the same pace of monthly or quarterly construction activity 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.
3 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.

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