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Housing starts remain at high level

OTTAWA, Ontario, August 10, 2004 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 218,700 in July, down from 232,100 in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Even though starts decreased slightly in July, housing construction remains at a high level," said David Weingarden, Senior Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Nationally, the housing market continues to benefit from positive economic factors, especially growth in employment and strong consumer confidence. This year, 225,700 starts are expected, the highest level since 1987."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts was down 8.0 per cent to 191,900 units in July. Urban single starts increased 5.5 per cent in July to 107,500 but urban multiple starts declined 20.8 per cent to 84,400 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

In all regions of Canada, except Quebec, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts fell in July: 11.0 per cent in the Atlantic; 10.2 per cent in Ontario; 18.8 per cent in the Prairies and; 5.8 per cent in British Columbia. In Quebec, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 5.4 per cent.

Rural starts in July were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 26,800 units.

Year to date actual urban starts were 8.5 per cent higher through July than for the same period last year. Single starts were up 5.2 per cent while multiple starts were up 12.4 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:
David Weingarden
(613) 748-2354

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces
Alex MacDonald
(902) 426-8964
Kevin Hughes
(514) 283-4488
Alex Medow
(416) 218-3344
Prairie provinces
Vinay Bhardwaj
(403) 515-3004
British Columbia
Carol Frketich
(604) 737-4067

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

June 2004

July 2004

Canada, all areas 22,527 232,100 20,228 218,700
Canada, rural areas 2,562 23,600 2,639 26,800
Canada, urban centres** 19,965 208,500 17,589 191,900
Canada, singles, urban centres 10,607 101,900 10,691 107,500
Canada, multiples, urban centres 9,358 106,600 6,898 84,400
Atlantic region, urban centres 1,230 9,100 965 8,100
Quebec, urban centres 4,082 44,300 3,720 46,700
Ontario, urban centres 8,002 84,600 7,281 76,000
Prairie region, urban centres 3,998 41,000 3,056 33,300
British Columbia, urban centres 2,653 29,500 2,567 27,800

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