“Housing starts moved lower in April mostly because of decreases in multiple construction across the country and in rural starts,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The multiple segment market in Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the overall decline in Canada.”
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 1.9 per cent to 160,100 units in April. Urban multiple starts were down by 5.1 per cent in April to 96,000 units, while single urban starts increased by 3.4 per cent to 64,100 units.
April’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 9.4 per cent in Quebec and by 8.0 per cent in Ontario. Urban starts increased by 5.3 per cent in the Prairie region, by 10.4 per cent in the Atlantic region and by 23.5 per cent in British Columbia.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,900 units in April.
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1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) — that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.
2 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.