OTTAWA, January 10, 2017 — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 198,053 units in December compared to 200,105 in November, 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.

“December saw multi-unit construction slow for the third consecutive month in Canada, leading housing starts to trend down,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “However, 2016 still counted more home starts than 2015. Increased demand for single-detached homes more than offset the decline we’re seeing in multi-unit construction – a decline that’s in response to efforts to manage current inventories.”

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 207,041 units in December, up from 187,273 units in November. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 11.8 per cent in December to 187,621 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 13.9 per cent to 120,750 units in December and single-detached urban starts increased by 8.1 per cent, to 66,871 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19,420 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.

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Original Source:

Information on This Release:

Karine LeBlanc
CMHC Media Relations

Additional data is available upon request.















Preliminary Housing Start Data
December 2016
November 2016 December 2016
Trend1, all areas 200,105 198,053
SAAR, all areas 187,273 207,041
SAAR, rural areas2 19,399 19,420
SAAR, urban centres3
Single-detached 61,875 66,871
Multiples 105,999 120,750
Total 167,874 187,621
Atlantic, urban centres3  6,238 5,264
Quebec, urban centres3 29,898 33,629
Ontario, urban centres3 55,960 76,890
Prairies, urban centres3 32,262 32,742
British Columbia, urban centres3 43,516 39,096
Canada December 2015 December 2016
Actual, all areas 14,505 16,984
January  to December — Total 195,535 197,915
Actual, rural areas2 1,226 1,232
Actual, urban centres3
December — Single-detached 4,519  5,317
December — Multiples 8,760 10,435
December — Total 13,279 15,752
January to December — Single-detached 57,740 60,552
January to December — Multiples 123,857 120,095
January to December — Total 181,597 180,647

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.
Detailed data available upon request