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December Housing Starts

OTTAWA, Ontario, January 11, 2010 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts reached 174,500 units in December 2009. This is an increase from an annual rate of 164,800 units in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Actual housing starts for 2009 are being verified and will be reported in the January edition of Monthly Housing Statistics. They are expected to be lower due to low monthly rates earlier in the year.

“The improvement in housing starts was broad based in December,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Solid increases occurred in both single and multiple starts to end the year.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 6.6 per cent to 157,100 units in December. Urban multiple starts increased from 72,800 units in November to 77,700 units in December. Single urban starts increased by 6.4 per cent to 79,400 units in December.

December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 17.8 per cent in Quebec, by 15 per cent in Atlantic Canada, by 8.7 per cent in British Columbia and by 2.9 per cent in Ontario. The rate of urban starts decreased by 3.8 per cent in the Prairies.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,400 units in December2.

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. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

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:

Charles Sauriol
Media Relations

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:
Alex MacDonald

Ted Tsiakopoulos

British Columbia:
Carol Frketich

Kevin Hughes

Prairie provinces:
Lai Sing Louie

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
Final Preliminary Final Preliminary
Canada, all areas 11,981 13,438 164,800 174,500
Canada, rural areas 1,493 1,176 17,400 17,400
Canada, urban centres** 10,488 12,262 147,400 157,100
Canada, singles, urban centres 4,335 6,222 74,600 79,400
Canada, multiples, urban centres 6,153 6,040 72,800 77,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 574 672 8,000 9,200
Quebec, urban centres 2,747 3,696 37,700 44,400
Ontario, urban centres 4,098 4,132 52,600 54,100
Prairie region, urban centres 1,578 2,268 31,800 30,600
British Columbia, urban centres 1,491 1,494 17,300 18,800