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Housing Starts Decreased in August as Expected

OTTAWA, Ontario, September 11, 2006 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 213,700 units in August, down from 236,500 units in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“Housing starts decreased in August solely due to a decline in the multiple starts segment. After three consecutive months of increases, the volatile multiple starts segment dropped to its lowest level of the year in August.” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Single-detached starts moved higher from their lackluster performance in July, but not markedly so.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts declined 11.3 per cent to 179,300 units in August compared to July. Urban multiples decreased 22.2 per cent to 87,800 units in August, while singles were up 2.6 per cent to 91,500 units.

Urban housing starts decreased in four out of five regions in August compared to July. Double digit declines were recorded in British Columbia, Ontario, the Atlantic region, and the Prairie region where urban starts were down 21.2, 19.8, 18.0, and 10.0 per cent respectively. Urban starts were up 19.6 per cent in Quebec.

Rural starts in August were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 34,400 units.

“Total starts for the first eight months of this year remained ahead of last year’s pace. However, strong house price gains will continue to dampen demand for new homes in the latter part of this year,” Dugan said.

For the first eight months of 2006, all areas’ actual starts increased 2.7 per cent compared to a year ago, which compares to 2.0 per cent growth in actual urban starts over the same period. Year-to-date actual urban multiple starts rose 2.8 per cent and urban singles were up 1.1 per cent compared to the same period in 2005.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, call 1 800 668-2642.

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.

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
Richard Corriveau
CMHC
403-515-3005
rcorrive@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*

Actual SAAR
August
2005
August
2006
July
2006
August
2006
Final Preliminary Final Preliminary
Canada, all areas 18,554 18,560 236,500 213,700
Canada, rural areas 2,783 3,179 34,400 34,400
Canada, urban centres** 15,771 15,381 202,100 179,300
Canada, singles, urban centres 7,759 7,951 89,200 91,500
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,012 7,430 112,900 87,800
Atlantic region, urban centres 971 718 8,900 7,300
Quebec, urban centres 2,832 3,011 33,100 39,600
Ontario, urban centres 5,736 5,430 76,100 61,000
Prairie region, urban centres 3,566 3,774 46,200 41,600
British Columbia, urban centres 2,666 2,448 37,800 29,800

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