December housing starts

OTTAWA, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of housing starts reached 174,500 units in December 2009. This is an increase from an annual rate of 164,800 units in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Actual housing starts for 2009 are being verified and will be reported in the January edition of Monthly Housing Statistics. They are expected to be lower due to low monthly rates earlier in the year.

"The improvement in housing starts was broad based in December," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Solid increases occurred in both single and multiple starts to end the year."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 6.6 per cent to 157,100 units in December. Urban multiple starts increased from 72,800 units in November to 77,700 units in December. Single urban starts increased by 6.4 per cent to 79,400 units in December.

December's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 17.8 per cent in Quebec, by 15 per cent in Atlantic Canada, by 8.7 per cent in British Columbia and by 2.9 per cent in Ontario. The rate of urban starts decreased by 3.8 per cent in the Prairies.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,400 units in December(2).

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

This release is also available on the CMHC Web site:

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To view the Housing Starts in Canada chart, please click the following link:

                     Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
                                             Actual              SAAR
                                       December December  November  December
                                          2008     2009      2009     2009
                                                 Prelimi-           Prelimi-
                                          Final    nary      Final    nary
    Canada, all areas                    11,981   13,438   164,800   174,500
      Canada, rural areas                 1,493    1,176    17,400    17,400
      Canada, urban centres(xx)          10,488   12,262   147,400   157,100
        Canada, singles, urban centres    4,335    6,222    74,600    79,400
        Canada, multiples, urban centres  6,153    6,040    72,800    77,700

        Atlantic region, urban centres      574      672     8,000     9,200
        Quebec, urban centres             2,747    3,696    37,700    44,400
        Ontario, urban centres            4,098    4,132    52,600    54,100
        Prairie region, urban centres     1,578    2,268    31,800    30,600
        British Columbia, urban centres   1,491    1,494    17,300    18,800
    Source: CMHC
    *Seasonally adjusted annual rates
    (xx) Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
    Detailed data available upon request.

    (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.
    (2) CMHC estimates the level of rural starts 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 rural areas and
        revises the estimate.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Information on this release: Charles Sauriol, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-2799,; For regional starts information contact: Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964,; Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488,; Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC, (416) 218-3407,; Prairie provinces: Lai Sing Louie, CMHC, (403) 515-2991,; British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067,

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