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Housing starts hold steady in July


August 23, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Aug. 23, 2013 — Housing starts remained relatively stable in July, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

July starts totalled 187,416 units, versus 182,142 units in June. 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 continued to be relatively stable in July, remaining within a narrow range of roughly 182,000 to 188,000 units since March 2013,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC.

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“For the past few months, total housing starts have followed the stabilizing trend observed in sales of existing homes earlier this year. As expected, the 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.”

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 which are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets and can be quite volatile from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 192,853 units in July, relatively unchanged from 193,797 in June. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 2.1 per cent in July to 173,042 units, mostly reflecting a decline in the single starts segments in July. Specifically, single urban starts decreased by 5.5 per cent to 58,731 units in July while the multiple urban starts segment essentially held steady at 114,311 units.

July’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia. Urban starts decreased in all other regions, including Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, Ontario and Quebec.


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