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Housing starts trend down in March


April 10, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Apr. 10, 2014, Ottawa — Housing starts in Canada were trending at 184,476 units in March compared to 191,126 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.

“In March, the trend in housing starts declined below 190,000 units for the first time in six months, reflecting a decrease in multiple unit starts. Lower starts activity over the remainder of the year compared to 2013 is anticipated as builders continue to adjust activity in order to manage inventory levels,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC.

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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 variable from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 156,823 units in March, a decrease from 190,639 in February.

The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 18.8 per cent in March to 142,502 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 25.5 per cent to 87,372 units in March while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased by 5.4 per cent to 55,130 units.

In March, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia and the Prairies, and decreased in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14,321 units.


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