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Housing

September 2015 Housing Starts in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

Toronto - Housing starts in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending higher at 3,385 units in September compared to 3,338 units in August, 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 higher due to higher townhouse starts. The trend for single-detached and semi-detached starts was stable, while apartment starts trended slightly lower. Builders/developers are holding off on starting many new apartment projects until the more than 4,000 units currently under construction near completion. Strong demand from students, young households, immigrants and seniors supported demand for the apartment boom in the last two years. A tight resale market has meant more spill-over to the new home ownership market, boosting demand for single-detached homes and townhouses," said Erica McLerie, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 72,001 units in September, up from 67,367 units in August, 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 in September continued to breach new highs not seen since 2012. Despite a pullback in semi-detached construction, all other dwelling types drove trend activity to a five year high. While the pace of construction should ease from elevated levels in recent months, an improving job market, less choice in the resale market and strong apartment ownership and rental demand will continue to support starts activity across the province," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 202,506 units in September compared to 195,804 in August, 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 is at its highest point since January 2013, as a result of the launch of some major rental housing projects as well as continued strength in condominium construction," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's Chief Economist. "As a result, trend activity is now above the projected annual pace of around 190,000 new households. This underscores the continuing need for inventory management to minimize the number of completed but unsold units."

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 5,337 units in September, up from 3,680 units in August. The increase in the SAAR was due to more apartment starts. Apartments can vary significantly from month to month. Although they were relatively high in September, the year-to-date number was down. For the first three quarters of 2015, actual starts have declined by 19.4 per cent from the same time last year, mainly due to fewer apartment starts.

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