OTTAWA, November 8, 2010 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 167,900 units in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is down from 185,000 units in September.

“Housing starts moved lower in October due to a decrease in urban single starts in all regions, with the exception of Atlantic Canada,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Both single-detached and multiple starts decreased last month.”

The moderation in housing starts in October, from relatively high levels earlier in the year is consistent with CMHC’s forecast for 2010 of 184,900 units. Looking ahead into 2011, housing starts will gradually become more closely aligned to demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 12.3 per cent to 142,400 units in October. Urban multiple starts moderated by 15 per cent in October at 84,700 units, while single urban starts moved lower by 8 per cent to 57,700 units.

October’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 24.5 per cent in Ontario, 16.9 per cent in the Prairie Region, 9.1 per cent in British Columbia and 2.6 per cent in Québec. Urban starts increased by 32.9 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,500 units in October.

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 informed decisions.

1 All 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 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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