OTTAWA - Canadian housing starts, fueled by huge high-rise-living project in the Toronto area, climbed 8.1% to a seasonally adjusted average of 224,900 units in August, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The increase in housing starts in August was the result of a few, large, multi-unit projects in the Greater Toronto area," said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. "This increase is primarily a reflection of the high level of pre-sales in some of these large multi-unit projects in late 2010 and early 2011, which is in line with job gains at that time."

Urban starts account for more than 90% of Canadian housing starts. Quebec was the only Canadian province to experience a drop in urban housing starts, falling by 9.8%. Urban housing start gains included 47.5% in Atlantic Canada, 20.4% in Ontario,18.2% in British Columbia and 1.3% in the Prairies..

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
August August July August
2011 2012 2012 2012
Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 17,042 19,860 208,000 224,900
Canada, rural areas 2,104 2,135 21,200 19,000
Canada, urban centres** 14,938 17,725 186,800 205,900
Canada, singles, urban centres 6,359 6,015 64,200 64,300
Canada, multiples, urban centres 8,579 11,710 122,600 141,600
Atlantic region, urban centres 795 1,112 8,000 11,800
Quebec, urban centres 2,707 2,807 44,000 39,700
Ontario, urban centres 5,949 7,744 72,200 86,900
Prairie region, urban centres 3,430 3,582 38,400 38,900
British Columbia, urban centres 2,057 2,480 24,200 28,600

Source: CMHC
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates.
**Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

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