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CMHC Releases Report on the State of Canada's Housing

OTTAWA, Ontario, September 8, 2004 — Over the last year, housing continued to be one of the faster growing sectors of the economy, supported by high levels of new construction, renovation and sales of existing homes according to the 2004 edition of the Canadian Housing Observer.

The second edition of the Observer, an annual review of the state of Canadian Housing, was released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It provides a comprehensive statistical portrait of how well Canadians are housed and charts the key developments affecting this important sector of Canada's economy. This edition features updates on affordability, the mortgage market, and housing market data, all in one publication.

"Housing is important to individual Canadians, to their communities, to the environment and to the economy," said Karen Kinsley, President of CMHC. "The Observer offers important insights into the changing housing needs of Canadians and helps our housing partners identify, address and monitor current housing trends and issues."

The statistical information assembled in the 2004 Observer underscores both the economic vitality of the housing sector in recent years as well as ongoing challenges in the area of affordable housing. While broad improvements in housing affordability have been recorded since the mid-1990s, 1.7 million households continue to face challenges in obtaining acceptable housing that meets their needs.

The analysis contained in the Observer is backed by a series of statistical tables, which provide detailed information on housing conditions and trends in Canada, provinces and territories, and major urban centres. The publication and related housing statistics are available on CMHC's Web site (

Key highlights follow.

For more information:

Leigh Howell
(613) 748-2326

2004 Canadian Housing Observer — Key Findings

Portrait of Canada's Housing

Demographic and Socio-Economic Influences on Housing Demand

Current Housing Market Developments

Trends in Housing Finance

Housing Affordability