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May 2009 National News Archive


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April Housing Starts

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 08, 2009 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts decreased to 117,400 units in April from 146,500 units in March, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The decrease in April's housing starts is partly attributable to the volatile multiple starts segment,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. “Most of the decline has occurred in the condominium segment in Ontario.”

While some improvement is expected, new home construction is unlikely to match the pace set over the past seven years, which exceeded 200,000 units per year. Housing starts will be more closely aligned to demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 24 per cent to 96,800 units in April. Urban multiple starts decreased 32.7 per cent to 54,700 units, while urban single starts moved down 8.7 per cent to 42,100 units in April.

April's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 1 per cent in British Columbia. Urban starts declined 43.7 per cent in Ontario, 16 per cent in Atlantic Canada, 7.1 per cent in Quebec, and 3.0 per cent in the Prairies.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,600 units in April2.

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.

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.

Information on this release:
Kristen Scheel
CMHC Media Relations
Tel.: 613-748-2799
Cell.: 613-316-2949
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 19,368 9,860 146,500 117,400
Canada, rural areas 2,159 1,797 19,100 20,600
Canada, urban centres** 17,209 8,063 127,400 96,800
Canada, singles, urban centres 6,888 3,526 46,100 42,100
Canada, multiples, urban centres 10,321 4,537 81,300 54,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 533 369 8,100 6,800
Quebec, urban centres 3,964 3,051 35,400 32,900
Ontario, urban centres 6,665 2,731 60,600 34,100
Prairie region, urban centres 2,955 1,070 13,500 13,100
British Columbia, urban centres 3,092 842 9,800 9,900

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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