Greenhouse Canada

Housing starts moderate in February

March 11, 2013  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Mar. 11, 2013, Ottawa — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 195,087 units in February, 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 continued to moderate in February. Moderation in economic fundamentals in the second half of 2012 has led to more modest housing demand and builders are adjusting accordingly,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC. “Monthly SAAR housing starts moved closer to the six month trend in February, up from January levels, due to a rebound in Ontario and Quebec multi-family starts.”


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 180,719 units in February, up from 158,998 in January. The SAAR of urban starts rose by 18.4 per cent in February to 161,631 units, led by a 27.7 per cent increase in multiple urban starts to 99,022 units. Single urban starts rose by 6.1 per cent to 62,609 units in February.

February’s seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts increased in Ontario (46.8 per cent), Quebec (34.9 per cent), British Columbia (2.1 per cent) and in the Prairies (1.5 per cent). Urban starts declined in Atlantic Canada (-31.7 per cent).

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 19,088 units in February.

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