May Housing Starts

OTTAWA, June 8, 2010 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 189,100 units in May, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), down from a revised 201,800 units in April.

“Housing starts decreased in both the singles and the multiples segments in May,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The decrease in housing starts in May is consistent with our forecast that housing starts for 2010 will reach 182,000 units.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 9.5 per cent to 165,200 units in May. Urban multiple starts decreased by 5.6 per cent to 92,800 units, while single urban starts decreased by 14.1 per cent to 72,400 units.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 21.8 per cent in the Prairie region, 13 per cent in Quebec, 12.9 per cent in British Columbia, and 2.7 per cent in Ontario. Urban starts increased 23.3 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,900 units in May.

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.

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 up 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.

Information on this release:

Charles Sauriol
Media Relations

For regional starts information contact:

Atlantic provinces:
Alex MacDonald

Ted Tsiakopoulos

British Columbia:
Carol Frketich

Kevin Hughes

Prairie provinces:
Lai Sing Louie

 Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas*

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
  Actual SAAR
  Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 12,429 17,882 201,800 189,100
Canada, rural areas 1,814 2,355 19,200 23,900
Canada, urban centres** 10,615 15,527 182,600 165,200
Canada, singles, urban centres 5,232 7,329 84,300 72,400
Canada, multiples, urban centres 5,383 8,198 98,300 92,800
Atlantic region, urban centres 857 1,045 8,600 10,600
Quebec, urban centres 3,699 4,052 46,900 40,800
Ontario, urban centres 3,728 5,750 63,600 61,900
Prairie region, urban centres 1,494 2,754 38,000 29,700
British Columbia, urban centres 837 1,926 25,500 22,200

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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