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:
For regional starts information contact:
Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
|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|
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 persons and over.
Detailed data available upon request.