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Robust Home Construction in September

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 8, 2003 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts declined to 234,600 in September from 237,200 in August, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Consumer confidence remains high and consumers continue to look positively toward the future. This combined with low mortgage rates continues to support healthy levels of activity in the housing market," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre.

"The low mortgage rates are helping to offset the impact of rising house prices on mortgage carrying costs, thus existing homeowners continue to be encouraged to move up and renter households are still moving into the home ownership market. Year-to-date, actual starts have exceeded last year's level by 6.7 per cent."

Nationally, urban single starts were 100,500 units at seasonally adjusted annual rates in September, unchanged from the previous month. Urban single starts edged up in both Ontario and Quebec, while other regions registered slight declines. Canada-wide, year-to-date actual urban single starts were down 3.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2002.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts fell 2.4 per cent to 104,500 units in September compared to 107,100 units in August. Nationally, year-to-date actual urban multiple starts increased 20.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2002.

Rural starts in September were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 29,600 units.

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.

Information on this release:

Bob Dugan
Tel: (613) 748-4009

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964,
Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488,
Ontario: Alex Medow, CMHC, (416) 218-3344,
Prairies: Vinay Bhardwaj, CMHC, (403) 515-3004,
British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067,

Chart - Housing Starts in Canada for September

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  August 2003
Final Estimate
September 2003
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 21,714 237,200 20,645 234,600
Canada, rural areas 3,045 29,600 2,878 29,600
Canada, urban centres** 18,669 207,600 17,767 205,000
Canada, singles, urban centres 9,292 100,500 8,778 100,500
Canada, multiples, urban centres 9,377 107,100 8,989 104,500
Atlantic region, urban centres 838 8,400 758 7,700
Quebec, urban centres 3,726 49,900 3,632 45,100
Ontario, urban centres 8,081 82,500 7,176 82,400
Prairie region, urban centres 3,696 39,400 3,478 39,700
British Columbia, urban centres 2,328 27,400 2,723 30,100

Source: CMHC

*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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