OTTAWA, Ontario, June 8, 2005 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 218,800 units in May, down 5.0 per cent from 230,400 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Housing starts remained strong in May and are in line with our expectations for the year, said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. Employment growth, particularly in full-time jobs, in recent years and very low mortgage rates continue to fuel high levels of housing starts. Mortgage rates, which have edged lower in recent weeks, should continue to support residential construction over the coming months.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts fell by 5.8 per cent to 188,800 units in May, due to a decrease in multiple starts. Single starts edged up by 0.2 per cent to 96,200 units, building on April's gain. Multiple starts, on the other hand, were down 11.3 per cent to 92,600 units in May.
In May, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 18.6 per cent in British Columbia, 11.2 per cent in the Atlantic Provinces, and 8.8 per cent in the Prairies. However, a 23.2 per cent decrease in starts in Quebec and 14.4 per cent decrease in Ontario more than offset the gains in the rest of the country.
Rural starts in May were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,000 units.
For the first five months of 2005, actual urban starts were 7.0 per cent lower than in the same period in 2004. Year-to-date single starts fell 10.4 per cent, and multiple starts eased 3.5 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:
|Canada, all areas||21,818||230,400||21,256||218,800|
|Canada, rural areas||2,865||30,000||3,206||30,000|
|Canada, urban centres**||18,953||200,400||18,050||188,800|
|Canada, singles, urban centres||8,958||96,000||9,782||96,200|
|Canada, multiples, urban centres||9,995||104,400||8,268||92,600|
|Atlantic region, urban centres||636||8,900||1,020||9,900|
|Quebec, urban centres||5,164||44,900||3,708||34,500|
|Ontario, urban centres||6,914||77,200||6,297||66,100|
|Prairie region, urban centres||3,533||40,900||3,977||44,500|
|British Columbia, urban centres||2,706||28,500||3,048||33,800|
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over.
Detailed data available upon request.