July 2014 Housing Starts in Canada
OTTAWA, August 11, 2014 — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada reached 189,784 units in July compared to 185,952 in June, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts.
“The trend in construction has increased modestly in recent months due to in large part to multiple starts, which have strong variability from month-to-month,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “Nevertheless, CMHC continues to expect a soft landing for the new home construction market in Canada.”
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, 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 200,098 units in July, a slight increase from 198,665 in June. The SAAR of urban starts was essentially stable at 182,932 units. Multiple urban starts in July decreased to 115,870 units while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 67,062 units.
In July, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, and decreased in the Prairies. Modest decreases were also observed in British Columbia and Quebec.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,166 units.
As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 and the trend estimate, 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 allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. 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.