October 2014 Housing Starts in Canada

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 195,707 units in October compared to 197,763 in September, 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.

“The decrease in the trend reflects a decline, in October, of starts of multi-unit dwellings, including condominiums,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Given the elevated level of condominium units under construction, our expectation is that condominium starts will continue to trend lower over the coming months."

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 was 183,604 units in October, down from 197,355 in September. The SAAR of urban starts decreased to 164,683 in October, from 177,053 in September. The decline was concentrated in multiple urban starts, which decreased to 98,673 in October, while single-detached urban starts increased to 66,010 units.

The decline in urban housing starts was observed in all five regions in October, with declines led by British Columbia and followed by Quebec, Atlantic Canada, the Prairies and Ontario.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,921 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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