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Housing Starts Remain High in June Despite Decrease

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 09, 2008 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 217,800 units in June, down from 227,700 units in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“Despite the decrease in June, total housing starts remain at high levels.” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “This is mostly due to the multiple segment which has been continuously above the 100,000 unit threshold since the beginning of the year.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts moved down by 5.0 per cent in June compared to May. Both urban multiples and singles decreased, with a decline of 3.0 per cent for multiples to 114,700 units, and a 7.8 per cent drop for singles to 74,600 units.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts went down in all regions of Canada, except Ontario, where housing starts increased by 10.8 per cent to 77,900 in June. Urban starts declined to 8,500 units in Atlantic Canada, 40,300 units in Quebec, 31,200 units in the Prairies, and 31,400 units in British Columbia. Both single and multiple urban starts decreased in all regions in June, with the exception of multiple starts in Ontario which increased by 30 per cent.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 28,500 units in June2.

For the first half of 2008, actual starts in rural and urban areas combined were up an estimated 1.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date actual starts in urban areas have increased by an estimated 6.1 per cent over the same period in 2007. Actual urban single starts for the first six months of this year were 13.1 per cent lower than they were a year earlier, while multiple starts were up by 23.1 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.

2. CMHC estimates the level of rural starts for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in rural areas and revises the estimate.

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:

Stéphanie Rubec
CMHC Media Relations
Tel.: 613-748-2300 (3064)
Cell: 613-296-1670

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:

Alex MacDonald
Tel.: 902-426-8964


Kevin Hughes
Tel.: 514-283-4488


Jason Mercer
Tel.: 416-218-3410

Prairie provinces:

Richard Corriveau
Tel.: 403-515-3005

British Columbia:

Carol Frketich
Tel.: 604-737-4067

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
Final Preliminary Final Preliminary
Canada, all areas 21,962 21,302 227,700 217,800
Canada, rural areas 3,469 3,053 28,500 28,500
Canada, urban centres** 18,494 18,320 199,200 189,300
Canada, singles, urban centres 9,742 7,878 80,900 74,600
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,752 10,442 118,300 114,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 1,085 1,092 9,700 8,500
Quebec, urban centres 4,172 3,706 45,600 40,300
Ontario, urban centres 6,084 8,233 70,300 77,900
Prairie region, urban centres 4,205 2,659 38,900 31,200
British Columbia, urban centres 2,948 2,630 34,700 31,400

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

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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