April 2014 Housing Starts in Canada

Housing starts in Canada were trending at 183,515 units in April compared to 184,602 in March, 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.

“In April, the trend in housing starts was essentially stable at 183,515 units. 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 Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist. “Over the remainder of the year, builders are expected to continue to adjust activity, particularly with respect to multiples, in order to manage inventory levels.”

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 in some markets, 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 194,809 units in April, an increase from 156,592 in March. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 176,792 units. Multiple urban starts increased to 117,612 units while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 59,180 units.

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

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,017 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. 

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