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Starts in October Second Highest in 12 Years

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 10, 2003 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts rose to 237,200 in October from 232,200 in September, making October's starts the second highest monthly level in 12 years, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"October's strong results continue to reflect low mortgage rates and strong consumer confidence," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "High activity in the resale market also confirms that demand for homeownership remains strong while creating spill-over demand in the new home market."

"Economic fundamentals, low inventories of completed and unoccupied units as well as a buoyant new housing market are keeping homebuilders active. Rising house prices are also encouraging homeowners to trade up to more expensive dwellings, this in turn is boosting housing demand in both the new and resale markets. Year-to-date, actual starts have exceeded last year's level by 7.4 per cent."

In October, urban single starts increased 0.3 per cent to 100,900 units at seasonally adjusted annual rates compared to 100,600 units the previous month. This increase was reflected in all regions of the country except in Ontario where urban single starts decreased slightly. Canada-wide, year-to-date actual urban single starts are 3.8 per cent lower compared to the same period in 2002.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts rose 5.7 per cent to 110,400 units in October compared to 104,400 units in September. The majority of the increase occurred in Ontario with a slight increase also being observed in British Columbia. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts fell in the remaining regions. Nationally, year-to-date actual urban multiple starts increased 22.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2002.

Rural starts in October were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,900 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 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: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067,

 Chart - Housing Starts in Canada for October 2003

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  September 2003
Final Estimate
October 2003
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 20,240 232,200 22,326 237,200
Canada, rural areas 2,468 27,200 2,608 25,900
Canada, urban centres** 17,772 205,000 19,717 211,300
Canada, singles, urban centres 8,783 100,600 8,928 100,900
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,989 104,400 10,789 110,400
Atlantic region, urban centres 758 7,600 689 7,600
Quebec, urban centres 3,632 45,100 3,768 43,600
Ontario, urban centres 7,178 82,400 9,101 91,800
Prairie region, urban centres 3,478 39,700 3,294 36,800
British Columbia, urban centres 2,726 30,200 2,865 31,500

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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