August Housing Starts

OTTAWA, September 9, 2010 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 183,300 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The seasonally adjusted annual rate estimate of housing starts activity was revised down in July from 189,200 units to 188,900 units2. This results in a month-over-month decrease of 3.0 per cent in August.


“Housing starts moved lower in August, reflecting a decrease in both single and multiple starts,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.


The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 3.7 per cent to 162,800 units in August. Urban multiple starts moved lower by 3.7 per cent to 97,800 units, while single urban starts decreased by 3.6 per cent to 65,000 units.


Rural starts3 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,500 units.


As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.


For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.


1All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.


2 The revision reflects new survey data collected for centres with a population of 10,000 to 49,999. CMHC estimates the level of starts in those centres at the beginning of each month. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimates. Revisions also stem from seasonal adjustment factors which are revised as new data are collected.


3 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.

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