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Strong Housing Starts in April

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 9, 2005 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 230,400 units in April, up 5.5 per cent from 218,400 units in March, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The strength in housing starts in April was broadly based regionally and in both single and multiple homes, lifting total starts above the 230,000 mark,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Favourable economic factors, such as high levels of employment and low mortgage rates, continue to stimulate residential construction activity.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose 5.6 per cent to 200,400 units in April, with multiples leading the way. Multiple starts climbed 8.1 per cent in April to 104,400 units while single starts increased 3.1 per cent to 96,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

In April, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in four of the five regions across Canada compared to the previous month. The largest increases were in the Atlantic provinces and in Quebec, where starts rose 17.1 per cent and 16.3 per cent, respectively. Starts in April also increased compared to March in Ontario (9.7 per cent) and in the Prairies (0.5 per cent), but fell 12.0 per cent in British Columbia.

Rural starts in April were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,000 units.

For the first four months of 2005, actual urban starts were 5.4 per cent lower than in the same period of 2004. Year to date single starts fell 9.7 per cent, and multiple starts eased 1.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

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
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: Vinay Bhardwaj, CMHC, (403) 515-3004, vbhardwa@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067, cfrketic@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

March 2005
Final

April 2005
Preliminary

Actual

SAAR

Actual

SAAR

Canada, all areas

14,193

218,400

21,818

230,400

Canada, rural areas

1,447

28,700

2,865

30,000

Canada, urban centres**

12,746

189,700

18,953

200,400

Canada, singles, urban centres

5,932

93,100

8,958

96,000

Canada, multiples, urban centres

6,814

96,600

9,995

104,400

Atlantic region, urban centres

206

7,600

636

8,900

Quebec, urban centres

2,561

38,600

5,164

44,900

Ontario, urban centres

4,755

70,400

6,914

77,200

Prairie region, urban centres

2,818

40,700

3,533

40,900

British Columbia, urban centres

2,406

32,400

2,706

28,500

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