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Rate of Housing Starts Up 10.4% in October

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 8, 2002 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts in Canada increased 10.4% in October to 220,400 units from a revised2 199,700 units in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Urban multiple starts rose 21.4% to an annual rate of 84,100 units in October from 69,300 in September, while urban singles rose 6.9% to 112,400 units from 105,100 units. Rural starts in October were estimated at an annual rate of 23,900 units.

"October's annual rate of housing starts, highest since March 1990, is evidence that the housing industry is benefiting from strong employment growth and low mortgage rates this year", said Michel Laurence, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "The increase in the annual rate of housing starts in October relative to September, which was broadly-based across the country, suggests housing and other related industries will remain positive factors for Canadian economic growth in the fourth quarter."

Estimated actual urban housing starts for January to October this year are 27.6% higher than for the same period last year (149,563 units compared with 117,207 units). The single-detached market increased 34.5% while multiples increased 19.1%.

1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) that are monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels.
2 Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or sampling results.

Special note: Prior to July 2002, the CMHC Starts and Completions Survey consisted of a monthly enumeration of new housing activity in urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over. As of July 2002, the survey will be conducted monthly in urban centres with a population of 50,000 persons and over and quarterly in urban centres with a population of 10,000 to 49,999 persons. Statistical models will be used to estimate provincial and national housing starts in urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over, on a monthly basis.

The methodology is unchanged for estimating housing starts in rural areas (areas other than urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over.) In these areas, a sample survey is used on a quarterly basis. As was the case in the past, statistical models continue to be used to estimate national housing starts in all areas on a monthly basis.

Information on this release:

Michel Laurence
(613) 748-2737

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964,
Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488,
Ontario: Alex Medow, CMHC, (416) 218-3344,
Prairie provinces: Richard Corriveau, CMHC, (403) 515-3005,
British Columbia: Cameron Muir, CMHC, (604) 737-4144,

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  September 2002
October 2002
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 17,473 199,700 19,890 220,400
Canada, rural areas 2,419 25,300 2,366 23,900
Canada, urban centres** 15,054 174,400 17,524 196,500
Canada, singles, urban centres 9,162 105,100 9,629 112,400
Canada, multiples, urban centres 5,892 69,300 7,895 84,100
Atlantic region, urban centres 823 8,000 864 9,400
Quebec, urban centres 2,761 36,200 3,106 38,600
Ontario, urban centres 6,361 73,200 7,877 85,700
Prairie region, urban centres 3,488 39,200 3,286 41,400
British Columbia, urban centres 1,621 17,800 1,916 21,400

Source: CMHC
* Seasonally adjusted annual rates
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

Canadian Housing Starts Chart October 2002

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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