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Housing starts drop in January


February 11, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Feb. 11, 2013, Ottawa — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 203,208 units in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The trend in total housing starts has been moderating since September 2012 and in existing home sales since May 2012. Trends in the two market segments typically follow a similar pattern with the new home market lagging behind the existing home market by a few months,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC. “The current trend is also in line with CMHC’s housing market outlook, which calls for moderation in housing starts activity in 2013.”

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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 160,577 units in January, down from 197,118 in December. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 22.3 per cent in January to 138,134 units. Single urban starts decreased by 11.2 per cent to 59,318 units and multiple urban starts decreased by 28.9 per cent to 78,816 units.

January’s seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts decreased in Ontario (down 43.9 per cent), Quebec (down 29.6 per cent) and in the Prairies (down 5.9 per cent). Urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada (up 59.4 per cent) and in British Columbia (up 7.7 per cent).

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,443 units in January.


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