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Housing starts stable in April


May 11, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

May 12, 2014, Ottawa — Housing starts were stable in April, according to new data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

April's housing starts were trending at 183,515 units last month, compared to 184,602 units in March. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

"In April, the trend in housing starts was essentially stable at 183,515 units. This is in line with CMHC's analysis indicating that the new home construction market in Canada is headed for a soft landing in 2014," said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist for CMHC. "Over the remainder of the year, builders are expected to continue to adjust activity, particularly with respect to multiples, in order to manage inventory levels."

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CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (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 vary from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 194,809 units in April, an increase from 156,592 in March. The SAAR of urban starts increased to 176,792 units. Multiple urban starts increased to 117,612 units, while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 59,180 units.

Last month, the SAAR of urban starts increased in Ontario, the Prairies and Quebec, and decreased in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,017 units.


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