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November Starts Remain at High Level

OTTAWA, Ontario, December 8, 2003 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 213,000 in November, compared to 237,300 in October, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Despite the decline in the rate of housing starts in November, the high level of activity continues to reflect a robust pace of housing construction across the country," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre.

"Demand for home ownership remains strong, supported by favourable mortgage rates and an improving labour market. Year-to-date, actual starts have exceeded last year's level by 6.5 per cent."

In November, urban single starts increased 3.5 per cent to 104,400 units at seasonally adjusted annual rates compared to 100,900 units the previous month. This increase was reflected in all regions of the country except in the Atlantic region where urban single starts decreased slightly. Canada-wide, year-to-date actual urban single starts are 3.2 per cent lower compared to the same period in 2002.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts dropped 25.2 per cent to 82,700 units in November compared to 110,500 units in October. The majority of the decrease occurred in Ontario with decreases also being observed in British Columbia and the prairie provinces. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban multiple starts rose in Quebec and the Atlantic region. Nationally, year-to-date actual urban multiple starts increased 19.7 per cent compared with the same period in 2002.

Rural starts in November 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 November 2003

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

  October 2003
Final Estimate
November 2003
  Actual SAAR Actual SAAR
Canada, all areas 22,326 237,300 18,597 213,000
Canada, rural areas 2,608 25,900 2,304 25,900
Canada, urban centres** 19,718 211,400 16,293 187,100
Canada, singles, urban centres 8,927 100,900 8,763 104,400
Canada, multiples, urban centres 10,791 110,500 7,530 82,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 690 7,700 917 8,900
Quebec, urban centres 3,769 43,600 3,794 44,300
Ontario, urban centres 9,101 91,800 6,501 72,800
Prairie region, urban centres 3,294 36,800 2,914 34,900
British Columbia, urban centres 2,865 31,500 2,167 26,200

Source: CMHC

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