Canadian housing starts trending at 183,515 units in April, based on six-month moving average of monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts; seasonally adjusted annual rate for standalone houses up 25.2%% from March to 194,809: CMHC

OTTAWA, Ontario , May 8, 2014 (press release) – 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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1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace 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.

Information on this release:

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations

Additional data is available upon request.

Preliminary Housing Start Data
April 2014
  March 2014 April 2014
Trend1, all areas 184,602 183,515
SAAR, all areas 156,592 194,809
SAAR, rural areas 13,961  18,017
SAAR, urban centres2    
Single-detached 55,583 59,180
Multiples 87,048 117,612
Total 142,631 176,792
Atlantic, urban centres2 3,881 3,264
Quebec, urban centres2 30,859 33,101
Ontario, urban centres2 37,126 62,627
Prairies, urban centres2 44,470 52,824
British Columbia, urban centres2 26,295 24,976
Canada April 2013 April 2014
Actual, all areas 15,928 17,124
Actual, rural areas  2,163  1,634
Actual, urban centres2    
April — Single-detached 5,630 5,272
April — Multiples 8,135 10,218
April — Total 13,765 15,490
January to April — Single-detached 16,263 15,147
January to April — Multiples 28,760 32,385
January to April — Total 45,023 47,532

Source: CMHC
1 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR).
2 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request

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