Housing starts in Canada were trending at 195,087 units in February, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC).
The CMHC's trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. The SAAR of urban starts rose by 18.4% in February to 161,631 units, led by a 27.7% increase in multiple urban starts to 99,022 units. Single urban starts rose by 6.1% to 62,609 units in February.
February's seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts increased in Ontario (46.8%), Quebec (34.9%), British Columbia (2.1%) and in the Prairies (1.5%). Urban starts declined in Atlantic Canada (-31.7%). Rural starts were estimated at a SAAR of 19,088 units in February.
‘The trend in total housing starts continued to moderate in February. Moderation in economic fundamentals in the second half of 2012 has led to more modest housing demand and builders are adjusting accordingly,’ said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at the CMHC. ‘Monthly SAAR housing starts moved closer to the six month trend in February, up from January levels, due to a rebound in Ontario and Quebec multifamily starts.’