September 2015 Housing Starts in Canada

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 202,506 units in September compared to 195,804 in August, 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.

“The trend in housing starts is at its highest point since January 2013, as a result of the launch of some major rental housing projects as well as continued strength in condominium construction,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “As a result, trend activity is now above the projected annual pace of around 190,000 new households. This underscores the continuing need for inventory management to minimize the number of completed but unsold 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 was 230,701 units in September, up from 214,255 units in August. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 7.7 per cent in September to 216,194 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 10.5 per cent to 157,919 units in September and the single-detached urban starts segment increased by 0.8 per cent to 58,275 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14,507 units.

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