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New Home Market Remained Strong in July

OTTAWA, Ontario, August 11, 2003 — New home construction rose in July with the seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts increasing to 223,500, from a revised2 205,900 in June, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Low mortgage rates and job creation continue to buoy consumer confidence and are the main catalysts driving new home construction higher" said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Mortgage rates, near 50 year lows, are also lowering mortgage carrying costs and attracting new buyers to home ownership."

"The creation of approximately 84,000 jobs thus far in 2003, most of which have been full-time, has added to income gains and further supported housing demand. Year-to-date, actual starts have exceeded last year's level by 3.9 per cent."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts, was up 9.5 per cent to 90,800 units in July compared with 82,900 units in June. Starts were up in all regions except Ontario, which suffered a slight setback. Nationally, year-to-date actual urban multiple starts increased 14.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2002.

In July, urban single starts increased 4.7 per cent to 103,100 units at seasonally adjusted annual rates, compared with 98,500 units in June. This increase was reflected in all regions of the country except Atlantic Canada where urban single starts fell. Canada-wide, year-to-date actual urban single starts are down 3.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2002.

Rural starts in July 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.
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:

Bob Dugan
Tel.: (613) 748-4009B

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964,
Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488,
Ontario: Brent Weimer, CMHC, (416) 218-3329,
Prairies: Vinay Bhardwaj, CMHC, (403) 515-3004,
British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067,

Chart - Housing Starts in Canada for July 2003


Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  June 2003
Final Estimate
July 2003
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 20,992 205,900 21,151 223,500
Canada, rural areas 3,219 24,500 3,056 29,600
Canada, urban centres** 17,773 181,400 18,095 193,900
Canada, singles, urban centres 10,516 98,500 10,003 103,100
Canada, multiples, urban centres 7,257 82,900 8,092 90,800
Atlantic region, urban centres 1,184 9,200 1,216 9,500
Quebec, urban centres 3,585 34,700 3,243 39,500
Ontario, urban centres 7,554 81,500 7,468 79,700
Prairie region, urban centres 3,399 35,100 3,453 37,200
British Columbia, urban centres 2,051 20,900 2,715 28,000

Source: CMHC

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