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Starts Continue Rebound in March

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 8, 2004 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 247,000 in March, compared with 216,200 in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"The rebound in starts that began in February continued in March", said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "The pace of new home construction accelerated, as interest rate cuts earlier this year began to be reflected in construction activity. Since the beginning of the year mortgage rates have moved down with the current five-year posted rates the lowest since June 1951. Looking ahead, low mortgage rates should continue to support high levels of starts."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts in Canada rose 16.2 per cent to 221,400 units, with most of the increase coming from multiples. Urban multiple starts increased 28.2 per cent in March to 114,700, while urban single starts rose 5.5 per cent to 106,700.

Seasonally adjusted urban starts rose in almost all regions with starts up 8.3 per cent in British Columbia, 22.7 per cent in Ontario, 16.6 per cent in Quebec and up strongly in the Atlantic Region. In the Prairie region, seasonally adjusted starts dropped 2.4 per cent due to a 23.9 per cent decline in multiple starts.

Rural starts in March were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,600 units.

Year to date actual urban starts were 2.7 per cent higher through March than for the same period last year. Single starts were up 2.9 per cent while multiple starts were up 2.5 per cent.

1. All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)-that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels.

Information on this release:

Bob Dugan
CMHC
(613) 748-4009
e-Mail: bdugan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964, amacdona@cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488, khughes@cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC, (416) 218-3407, ttsiakop@cmhc-schl.gc.ca
Prairie provinces: Brent Weimer, CMHC, (403) 515-3004, bweimer@cmhc-schl.gc.ca
British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067, cfrketic@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Chart - Housing Starts in Canada for March 2004

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

February 2004
Final
March 2004
Preliminary
Actual
SAAR
Actual
SAAR
Canada, all areas
12,020
216,200
15,463
247,000
Canada, rural areas
1,040
25,600
1,141
25,600
Canada, urban centres**
10,980
190,600
14,322
221,400
Canada, singles, urban centres
5,341
101,100
6,905
106,700
Canada, multiples, urban centres
5,639
89,500
7,417
114,700
Atlantic region, urban centres
199
8,100
346
13,700
Quebec, urban centres
2,624
47,500
3,773
55,400
Ontario, urban centres
3,677
70,500
5,730
86,500
Prairie region, urban centres
2,707
38,100
2,455
37,200
British Columbia, urban centres
1,773
26,400
2,018
28,600

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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