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Housing

February 2016 Housing Starts in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

Waterloo Region - Housing starts in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 3,443 units in February compared to 3,410 units in January, 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.

"Total housing starts trended slightly higher in February as the increase in the trend for apartment and single-detached starts more than offset the decreasing trend for town homes. Single-detached homes continued to trend at the highest level of recent years supported by positive employment gains and population growth. Apartment starts are now trending at a more sustainable level," said Erica McLerie, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 72,411 units in February, down from 75,145 units in January, 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 Ontario residential construction trend has plateaued - reaching its lowest level since September 2015. The apartment segment pulled overall construction activity lower while other dwelling types remained close to previous monthly levels. Despite improving economic conditions, lower levels of in-migration in recent years and a declining backlog of condominium sales that have yet to commence construction will result in lower levels of starts as we move through 2016," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

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 3,877 units in February, up from 1,903 units in January. The increase in the SAAR was due to higher apartment and townhome starts. Actual starts for the first two months of the year increased by 65 per cent due to more apartment starts.

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