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Housing Starts Remained Strong in September

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 08, 2008 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 217,600 units in September, up slightly from 217,400 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“Housing starts remained at a high level in September, with construction activity again staying above the 200,000 unit threshold.” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Higher starts of multiple family homes were behind the rise in new home construction activity in September.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose 0.1 per cent in September, compared to August. Urban multiples rose in September by 5.5 per cent to 122,500 units. Urban single starts decreased 8.1 per cent to 70,000 units in September compared to August.

September’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts went up or remained unchanged in all regions of Canada, except Ontario, where housing starts decreased by 6.6 per cent to 80,900 units. Urban starts increased to 9,500 units in Atlantic Canada, 29,000 units in the Prairies, and 33,600 units in British Columbia. In the Quebec region, starts remained stable at 39,500 units. Multiple urban starts increased in all regions in September, with the exception of Ontario, where they decreased by 1.9 per cent.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,100 units in September2.

For the first nine months of 2008, actual starts in rural and urban areas combined were down an estimated 5.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date actual starts in urban areas have decreased by an estimated 0.8 per cent over the same period in 2007. Actual urban single starts for the January to September period of this year were 15.6 per cent lower than they were a year earlier, while urban multiple starts were up by 12.2 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 more than 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:

Julie Girard
CMHC Media Relations
Tel.: 613-748-4684
Cell: 613-295-6330

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:
Alex MacDonald
Kevin Hughes
Ted Tsiakopoulos
Prairie provinces:
Richard Corriveau
British Columbia:
Carol Frketich

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
Final Preliminary Final Preliminary
Canada, all areas 25,572 20,080 217,400 217,600
Canada, rural areas 3,539 2,436 25,100 25,100
Canada, urban centres** 22,033 17,644 192,300 192,500
Canada, singles, urban centres 8,227 6,299 76,200 70,000
Canada, multiples, urban centres 13,806 11,345 116,100 122,500
Atlantic region, urban centres 1,029 1,030 8,600 9,500
Quebec, urban centres 5,442 3,575 39,500 39,500
Ontario, urban centres 6,751 7,305 86,600 80,900
Prairie region, urban centres 5,183 2,624 27,100 29,000
British Columbia, urban centres 3,628 3,110 30,500 33,600

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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