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Housing

November 2015 Housing Starts in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

Toronto - Housing starts in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending lower at 3,378 units in November compared to 3,497 units 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)1 of housing starts.

"Total housing starts trended slightly lower due to lower single-detached and apartment starts. Townhouse starts continued to trend up and were at the highest level in more than three years. Townhouses are a more affordable option compared to single-detached homes. A tight resale market has meant more spill-over of demand to the new home ownership market, boosting demand for townhouses," said Erica McLerie, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC. "Townhouses are higher-density housing which support the goal of more homes per hectare set out in the Region of Waterloo Official Plan."

Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 74,287 units in November, up slightly from 73,759 units 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)1 of housing starts.

"The Ontario residential construction trend continued to grow on the strength of semi-detached and apartment construction. The trend in single detached construction has remained relatively stable in recent months. Ontario starts have been running above levels supported by household formation rates since June suggesting recent activity is likely not sustainable. Nevertheless, rising home prices for single family homes, low rental vacancy rates and less land available for low density housing development should continue to support apartment starts in the immediate term," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 208,401 units in November compared to 206,125 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.

"The trend in housing starts has increased for a seventh consecutive month due to the multi-unit segment," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist. "Rising single home prices continue to support demand for multiples, which are poised to reach the largest proportion of total urban starts since 1971. However, inventory management is necessary to make sure that these units do not remain unsold upon completion."

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 was 211,916 units in November, up from 197,712 units in October. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 7.7 per cent in November to 195,121 units. Multi-unit urban starts increased by 13.2 per cent to 137,898 units in November and the single-detached urban starts segment decreased by 3.6 per cent to 57,223 units.

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

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, analysing 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 variable from one month to the next. The multiples segment includes apartments, rows and semi-detached homes.

The SAAR of total housing starts was 3,414 units in November, up from 2,445 units in October. The increase in the SAAR was due to more townhouse and apartment starts. For the first eleven months of 2015, actual starts have declined by 28 per cent from the same time last year, due to fewer apartment starts. Starts for single-detached and townhouses are higher.

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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