Housing starts in Canada were trending at 222,900 units in August, according to new data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). The trend is a moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts, and CMHC reports the standalone monthly SAAR in August was up from 208,000 in July.
According to CMHC, Canada's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 10.2% to 205,900 units in August. Urban single starts remained relatively unchanged in August at 64,300 units, while multiple urban starts increased by 15.5% to 141,600 units.
August's SAAR adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 47.5% in Atlantic Canada, by 20.4% in Ontario, by 18.2% in British Columbia and by 1.3% in the Prairies. The only province to see a decline was Quebec, where urban starts decreased by 9.8%.
Rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 19,000 units in August.
‘The increase in housing starts in August was the result of a few, large, multi-unit projects in the Greater Toronto area,’ says Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. ‘This increase is primarily a reflection of the high level of pre-sales in some of these large multi-unit projects in late 2010 and early 2011, which is in line with job gains at that time. The higher level of starts recorded in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia in August reflect low levels of activity in July rather than an increasing trend that was registered in August. Overall, moderation in housing starts activity is still expected for the remainder of 2012 and 2013.’