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Housing Starts Up 34.5 Per Cent in February

OTTAWA, Ontario, March 10, 2003 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts in Canada in February was 246,400 units which is 34.5 per cent higher than the January 2003 revised2 rate of 183,200 units.

"In February, the housing market continued to show a high level of activity", said David Weingarden, Senior Economist at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) Market Analysis Centre. "The surge in multiples reflects the volatility typical of that sector of the market. The CMHC forecast for total housing starts in 2003 remains 205,500."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban single starts increased 6.4 per cent to 104,100 units in February from 97,800 units in January while urban multiple starts increased 89.3 per cent to an annual rate of 120,600 units in February from 63,700 units in January. Rural starts in February were estimated at an annual rate of 21,700 units.

Estimated actual urban housing starts for the first two months of 2003 were 11.5 per cent higher than for the same period of 2002 (23,045 units compared with 20,672 units). The single-detached market increased 6.5 per cent while multiples increased 16.2 per cent.

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.

Information on this release:

David Weingarden
(613) 748-2354

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: Vinay Bhardwaj, CMHC, (403) 515-3004,
British Columbia: Cameron Muir, CMHC, (604) 737-4144,

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  January 2003
February 2003
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 10,432 183,200 14,138 246,400
Canada, rural areas 747 21,700 778 21,700
Canada, urban centres** 9,685 161,500 13,360 224,700
Canada, singles, urban centres 5,249 97,800 5,512 104,100
Canada, multiples, urban centres 4,436 63,700 7,848 120,600
Atlantic region, urban centres 325 6,300 280 9,000
Quebec, urban centres 2,180 38,100 1,965 37,500
Ontario, urban centres 3,810 64,900 6,718 115,100
Prairie region, urban centres 2,148 33,600 2,808 40,100
British Columbia, urban centres 1,222 18,600 1,589 23,000

Source: CMHC

Chart - Housing Starts in Canada for February 2003

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

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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