OTTAWA, May 9, 2016 — The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 195,064 units in April compared to 196,103 in March, 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.

“While the trend for Canada remained stable in April, there were off-setting differences at the local level, notably in Vancouver and Montréal,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “Condo construction is slowing down in Montreal as builders are managing inventories by channelling demand to units that have been completed but remain unsold.”

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 191,512 units in April, down from 202,375 units in March. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 4.6 per cent in April to 174,810 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 4.0 per cent to 117,851 units in April and the single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.8 per cent to 56,959 units.

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

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,702 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.

Follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on this release:

Karine LeBlanc
CMHC Media Relations

Additional data is available upon request.

  Preliminary Housing Start Data
  April 2016
March 2016April 2016
Trend1, all areas196,103195,064
SAAR, all areas202,375191,512
SAAR, rural areas219,09816,702
SAAR, urban centres3
Atlantic, urban centres2,6733,936
Quebec, urban centres29,69627,423
Ontario, urban centres85,51862,672
Prairies, urban centres25,55135,188
British Columbia, urban centres39,83945,591
CanadaApril 2015April 2016
Actual, all areas15,62615,894
Actual, rural areas1,4451,456
Actual, urban centres
April — Single-detached4,9214,570
April — Multiples9,2609,868
April — Total14,18114,438
January to April — Single-detached14,08214,457
January to April — Multiples33,69835,626
January to April — Total47,78050,083

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: May 9, 2016