OTTAWA, November 8, 2016 — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,920 units in October compared to 199,262 in September, 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.

“In October, housing starts remained stable, as the trend remained essentially unchanged from September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “While apartment starts are on a downward trend in British Columbia after reaching an all-time high at the beginning of the year, increased construction of single, semi-detached and row units in the rest of the country have helped offset the decline.”

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 192,928 units in October, down from 219,363 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 12.1 per cent in October to 176,131 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 15.3 per cent to 115,402 units in October and single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.4 per cent to 60,729 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,797 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
October 2016
  September 2016 October 2016
Trend1, all areas 199,262 199,920
SAAR, all areas 219,363 192,928
SAAR, rural areas2 18,859 16,797
SAAR, urban centres3    
Single-detached 64,212 60,729
Multiples 136,292 115,402
Total 200,504 176,131
Atlantic, urban centres3 9,705 6,419
Quebec, urban centres3 40,786 30,797
Ontario, urban centres3 67,798 81,360
Prairies, urban centres3 35,921 32,038
British Columbia, urban centres3 46,294 25,517
Canada October 2015 October 2016
Actual, all areas 17,475 17,007
Actual, rural areas2 1,461 1,494
Actual, urban centres3    
October — Single-detached 5,521 5,704
October — Multiples 10,493 9,809
October — Total 16,014 15,513
January to October — Single-detached 47,876 49,497
January to October — Multiples 102,888 100,273
January to October — Total 150,764 149,770

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: November 8, 2016