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May 2011 Housing Starts

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 08, 2011 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 183,600 units in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 178,700 units in April 2011.

“Housing starts increased modestly in May due to an increase in multiple construction in most provinces and in rural starts,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The increase in multiples and rural starts was partly off-set by a decrease in single starts.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 0.8 per cent to 161,000 units in May. Urban multiple starts were up by 4.0 per cent in May to 100,000 units, while single urban starts decreased by 4.1 per cent to 61,000 units.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 33.3 per cent in British Columbia, by 13.5 per cent in Québec, by 11.0 per cent in the Atlantic region, and by 10.0 per cent in the Prairie region. Ontario posted a decrease of 22.9 per cent over the same period.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,600 units in May.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 informed 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. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

2 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 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 these centres 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
  Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 18,533 17,384 178,700 183,600
Canada, rural areas 2,355 2,359 18,900 22,600
Canada, urban centres** 16,178 15,025 159,800 161,000
Canada, singles, urban centres 7,768 6,005 63,600 61,000
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,410 9,020 96,200 100,000
Atlantic region, urban centres 1,137 848 7,300 8,100
Quebec, urban centres 4,236 4,274 37,000 42,000
Ontario, urban centres 5,967 4,540 65,100 50,200
Prairie region, urban centres 2,906 2,786 27,900 30,700
British Columbia, urban centres 1,932 2,577 22,500 30,000

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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