housing starts

Canadian housing starts trend lower in August

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 195,640 units in August, down from 201,379 in July, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This number is the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“Housing starts declined in August, as construction of multi-unit dwellings slowed in most regions, led by lower activity in Alberta and Manitoba,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC chief economist, in a press release. “However, housing market activity levels remain elevated and this decline in starts is the market’s response to increasing levels of supply. Multi-unit inventories are above average in several major markets across the country.”

The trend measure complements the monthly SAAR of housing starts in order to account for significant swings in monthly estimates and give a better picture of the state of Canada’s housing market.

The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 182,703 units in August, which is a decline from July’s 194,663 units. The SAAR of urban starts fell by 6.1 per cent in August to 167,879 units. Multiple urban starts also slowed by 7.3 per cent 111,378 units in August, while single-detached urban starts decreased by 3.7 per cent to 56,501 units.

The month of August saw the SAAR of urban starts decline in the Prairies, British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada, while it increased in Quebec.

Rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 14,824 units in August.

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