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Starts Remain Strong in March

OTTAWA, Ontario, April 10, 2006 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 252,300 units in March, up from 242,500 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Apartment starts surged in a number of centres in March," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Despite the rise in multiple starts in March, single starts decreased for a second consecutive month suggesting that the pace of new home starts will begin to pull back."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose 4.7 per cent to 219,700 units with activity in single and multiple starts diverging. Multiple starts were up 18.6 per cent to 123,000 units comparing March to February, while singles were down 8.9 per cent to 96,700 units.

A jump in multiples construction in Montréal meant the Quebec region led the country with a 21.2 per cent increase in urban housing starts to 48,100 units. Strong growth in each of the Prairie provinces led to a second consecutive month of double-digit gains in urban housing starts in the region. Elsewhere, urban housing starts declined in the Atlantic region and Ontario, and were virtually unchanged in British Columbia.

Rural starts in March were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 32,600.

In the first quarter, actual urban starts were up 19.1 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2005. Year-to-date urban starts were up in all regions of the country compared to last year. Single starts were up 16.7 per cent while multiples were up 21.1 per cent.

1All 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.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC contributes to improving the living conditions and the well-being of Canadians through four areas of housing activities — housing finance, assisted housing, research and information transfer, and export promotion. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes and making vibrant and sustainable communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information call 1 800 668-2642.

Information on this release:

Atlantic provinces:

Alex MacDonald
CMHC
(902) 426-8964
amacdona@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Prairie provinces:

Richard Corriveau
CMHC
(403) 515-3005
rcorrive@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


Quebec:

Kevin Hughes
CMHC
(514) 283-4488
khughes@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


British Columbia:

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


Ontario:

Ted Tsiakopoulos
CMHC
(416) 218-3407
ttsiakop@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

April 2006 Chart

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*


February 2006
Final

March 2006
Preliminary

Actual

SAAR

Actual

SAAR

Canada, all areas

13,844 242,500 16,838 252,300

Canada, rural areas

1,396 32,600 1,663 32,600

Canada, urban centres**

12,448 209,900 15,175 219,700

Canada, singles, urban centres

5,955 106,200 6,217 96,700

Canada, multiples, urban centres

6,493 103,700 8,958 123,000

Atlantic region, urban centres

299 10,700 279 9,300

Quebec, urban centres

2,153 39,700 3,308 48,100

Ontario, urban centres

3,921 73,600 4,609 69,900

Prairie region, urban centres

3,313 47,700 3,962 54,100

British Columbia, urban centres

2,762 38,200 3,017 38,300

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

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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