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Housing Starts Drop in October

OTTAWA, Ontario, November 08, 2007 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 219,500 units in October, down 22.0 per cent from 281,300 units in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The decline in housing starts in October reflects the exceptional strength in new construction in September rather than weakness in October,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Much of the decline in October can be attributed to the fall in multiple starts. We continue to expect that residential construction activity will remain strong throughout next year, with the trend decreasing gradually between now and the end of 2008.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 24.9 per cent to 183,600 in October, compared to September. Urban singles were down 6.0 per cent to 84,900 units in October, while multiple starts decreased 36.0 per cent to 98,700 units.

In October, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in all five regions. Urban starts registered a decrease of 14.7 per cent in the Atlantic region, 36.0 per cent in Quebec, 30.6 per cent in Ontario, 20.0 per cent in the Prairies, and 5.6 per cent in British Columbia. Urban single starts were down in all regions except British Columbia, where they were unchanged. All regions saw declines in urban multiple starts. The largest decrease was in Ontario where urban multiple starts dropped by 50.1 per cent.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 35,900 units in October.

Actual starts, in rural and urban areas combined, were up an estimated 1.5 per cent in the first 10 months of 2007 compared to the same period in 2006. In urban areas, actual total starts grew by an estimated 0.1 per cent year-to-date. Actual urban single starts from January to October 2007 were down 5.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2006, while multiple starts grew by approximately 5.4 per cent over the same period.

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.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

For more information call 1-800-668-2642.

Information on this release:

Kristen Scheel
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-4632
kscheel@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Julie Girard
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-4684
jagirard@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
October
2006
October
2007
September
2007
October
2007
Final
Preliminary
Final
Preliminary
Canada, all areas
20,738
19,682
281,300
219,500
Canada, rural areas
3,143
3,625
36,900
35,900
Canada, urban centres**
17,595
16,057
244,400
183,600
Canada, singles, urban centres
8,220
7,370
90,300
84,900
Canada, multiples, urban centres
9,375
8,687
154,100
98,700
Atlantic region, urban centres
604
757
10,200
8,700
Quebec, urban centres
4,246
3,433
61,600
39,400
Ontario, urban centres
6,065
4,836
78,100
54,200
Prairie region, urban centres
3,747
3,779
55,000
44,000
British Columbia, urban centres
2,933
3,252
39,500
37,300

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