OTTAWA, December 8, 2016 — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,135 units in November compared to 199,641 in October, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“Housing starts kept a steady pace in November as upward trends observed in British Columbia and the Prairies offset downward trends recorded in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “We’re also seeing that housing starts are on track to have moderated in 2016 compared to 2015 in most centres where we detected overbuilding.”

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 Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 183,989 units in November, down from 192,297 units in October. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 5.0 per cent in November to 166,828 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 7.7 per cent to 105,915 units in November, while single-detached urban starts held steady at 60,913 units.

In November, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in Ontario, Quebec and in Atlantic Canada, but increased in British Columbia and in the Prairies.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,161 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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Information on This Release:

Karine LeBlanc
CMHC Media Relations

Additional data is available upon request.

Preliminary Housing Start Data
November 2016
  October 2016 November 2016
Trend1, all areas 199,641 199,135
SAAR, all areas 192,297 183,989
SAAR, rural areas2 16,699 17,161
SAAR, urban centres3    
Single-detached 60,837 60,913
Multiples 114,761 105,915
Total 175,598 166,828
Atlantic, urban centres3 6,454 5,803
Quebec, urban centres3 30,414 29,131
Ontario, urban centres3 81,119 55,232
Prairies, urban centres3 32,122 32,643
British Columbia, urban centres3 25,489 44,019
Canada November 2015 November 2016
Actual, all areas 19,050 16,470
Actual, rural areas2 1,498 1,535
Actual, urban centres3    
November — Single-detached 5,346 5,630
November — Multiples 12,206 9,305
November — Total 17,552 14,935
January to November — Single-detached 53,222 55,127
January to November — Multiples 115,094 109,578
January to November — Total 168,316 164,705

Source: CMHC

1 The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR). By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for comparison of adjacent months and quarters. The monthly and quarterly SAAR and trend figures indicate the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the same pace of monthly or quarterly construction activity 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.
3 Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request

Date Published: December 8, 2016