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Multiple Construction Eases in August

OTTAWA, Ontario, September 9, 2005 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 201,000 units in August, down from 242,600 units in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Despite the decrease in August, housing starts in Canada have now been above the 200,000 level for 27 consecutive months. Housing market fundamentals remain strong with high employment levels and low mortgage rates," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Most of the decline occurred in the multiple starts segment which is more volatile than single starts on a monthly basis."

August housing starts in Canada's urban centres fell 19.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 170,300 units. Urban single detached starts decreased 4.7 per cent to 85,400 in August while urban multiples decreased 30.6 per cent to 84,900.

Urban housing starts in August decreased in three regions and rose in two. In Ontario, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts went down 36.6 per cent as Toronto multiple starts fell from July's exceptionally high level. Starts dipped 17.4 per cent in Quebec, where multiples were also a major factor and 9.4 per cent in British Columbia. The Prairies posted a modest increase of 0.8 per cent. Starts were up 21.3 per cent in the Atlantic region with residential construction rising in all four provinces.

Rural starts in August were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,700 units.

For the first eight months of 2005, actual urban starts were 5.6 per cent lower than for the same period in 2004. Year-to-date single starts decreased 11.0 per cent, while multiple starts increased 0.2 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
(613) 748-4009

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:
Alex MacDonald
(902) 426-8964

Kevin Hughes
(514) 283-4488

Ed Heese
(416) 218-3407

Prairie provinces:
Vinay Bhardwaj
(403) 515-3004

British Columbia:
Carol Frketich
(604) 737-4067

Canadian Housing Starts Chart Augusr 2005

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*

July 2005

August 2005

Canada, all areas 23,358 242,600 18,518 201,000
Canada, rural areas 3,425 30,700 2,924 30,700
Canada, urban centres** 19,933 211,900 15,594 170,300
Canada, singles, urban centres 8,948 89,600 7,595 85,400
Canada, multiples, urban centres 10,985 122,300 7,999 84,900
Atlantic region, urban centres 897 8,000 971 9,700
Quebec, urban centres 3,836 45,300 2,794 37,400
Ontario, urban centres 8,902 89,100 5,661 56,500
Prairie region, urban centres 3,323 36,600 3,440 36,900
British Columbia, urban centres 2,975 32,900 2,728 29,800

Source: CMHC

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