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Housing Starts Increase in May

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 08, 2009 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts increased to 128,400 units in May from 117,600 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The increase in May is broadly based, encompassing both the singles and multiples segments,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.

Housing starts are expected to improve throughout 2009 and over the next several years to gradually become 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 increased 11.1 per cent to 107,800 units in May. Urban multiple starts increased 11.1 per cent to 60,900 units, while urban single starts also moved up by 11.1 per cent to 46,900 units in May.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 22.0 per cent in Ontario, 16.8 per cent in the Prairies, 7.3 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and 3.3 per cent in Quebec. Urban starts declined 5.0 per cent in British Columbia.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,600 units in May2.

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
kscheel@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
May
2008
May
2009
April
2009
May
2009
Final Preliminary Final Preliminary
Canada, all areas
21,908
12,604
117,600
128,400
Canada, rural areas
2,686
2,236
20,600
20,600
Canada, urban centres**
19,222
10,368
97,000
107,800
Canada, singles, urban centres
8,568
4,939
42,200
46,900
Canada, multiples, urban centres
10,654
5,429
54,800
60,900
Atlantic region, urban centres
1,094
760
6,800
7,300
Quebec, urban centres
4,659
3,594
33,100
34,200
Ontario, urban centres
6,570
3,665
34,100
41,600
Prairie region, urban centres
3,819
1,540
13,100
15,300
British Columbia, urban centres
3,080
809
9,900
9,400

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