October 2015 Housing Starts in Canada

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 206,089 units in October compared to 202,793 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) of housing starts.

“New condominium and rental starts continued to push the trend higher in October,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Rental starts across urban centres are poised to reach their highest level since 1992 due to low vacancy rates in recent years.”

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 198,065 units in October, down from 231,304 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 16.0 per cent in October to 181,442 units. Multi-unit urban starts decreased by 22.4 per cent to 122,187 units in October and the single-detached urban starts segment increased by 1.3 per cent to 59,255 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,623 units.

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