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Posted June 11 , 2013

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Housing

May 2013 Housing Starts in Canada

OTTAWA - Housing starts in Canada were trending at 182,756 units in May compared to 182,971 in April, 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 total housing starts was essentially unchanged in May as gains in the multiple starts segment partly offset the moderation in activity that was observed in previous months, especially in Atlantic Canada and Ontario. As a result, the trend in housing activity remains close to its historical average and is in-line with estimates of household formation," said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC.

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 in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 200,178 units in May, an increase from 175,922 in April. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 14.6 per cent in May to 177,234 units, led by a 22.2 per cent rise in multiple urban starts to 114,346 units. Single urban starts increased by 3.0 per cent to 62,888 units in May.

May's seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada and Ontario, and were essentially unchanged in the Prairies. Urban starts decreased in British Columbia and Quebec.

Rural starts(2) were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,944 units in May.

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