OTTAWA, October 8, 2013 — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 190,492 units in September compared to 188,440 in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
“The trend in total housing starts edged up slightly in September, while remaining close to the range of roughly 182,000 to 188,000 units that was observed between March and August of 2013. This recent moderate gain is consistent with sales of existing homes, which have trended higher since February 2013. The trend in the new home market typically lags the trend in the existing home market”, said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 193,637 units in September, an increase from 183,964 in August. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 4.3 per cent in September to 177,240 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 5.9 per cent to 113,705 units in September while the single urban starts segment saw an increase of 1.4 per cent to 63,535 units.
In September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, British Columbia and Quebec, and decreased in Ontario.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,397 units.
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.
1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, 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 allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. 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: