Housing starts moderate in December

    OTTAWA, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of
housing starts was 177,300 units in December, down marginally from 178,000
units in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    "Housing starts in December were almost unchanged compared to November,"
said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "At an
estimated 212,366 units, housing starts in 2008 breached the 200,000 unit mark
for a seventh consecutive year."
    Pent-up housing demand which built up over the 1990s enabled Canadian
housing starts to exceed long run demographic demand for the majority of this
decade. This excess demand has gradually decreased and CMHC expects
construction levels in 2009 to be more aligned with long run demographic
    The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased 0.5 per
cent to 150,100 units in December. Urban multiple starts increased 3.2 per
cent to 87,400 units, while urban single starts eased 5.1 per cent to 62,700
units in December.
    December's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts moderated in
three of the five regions in Canada. Urban starts declined 12.6 per cent to
36,700 units in Quebec, 6.3 per cent to 25,100 units in the Prairies, and 3.6
per cent to 8,100 units in the Atlantic Region. British Columbia urban starts
rose 9.9 per cent to 19,900 units and Ontario urban starts climbed 8.6 per
cent to 60,300 units.
    Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
27,200 units in December(2).
    For the year 2008, actual starts in rural and urban areas combined
moderated by an estimated 7.0 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
Year-to-date actual starts in urban areas have decreased by an estimated 3.3
per cent compared to 2007. Actual urban single starts for 2008 were 18.1 per
cent lower than they were a year earlier while urban multiple starts were up
by 9.8 per cent over the same period.
    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 - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    (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

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

    Please click below to view the Housing Starts in Canada - All areas chart

    (Ce document existe également en français)

                     Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR(*)
                                  Actual                       SAAR
                          December      December      November      December
                              2007          2008          2008          2008
                             Final   Preliminary         Final   Preliminary
    Canada, all areas       13,506        12,407       178,000       177,300
      Canada, rural areas    2,349         1,920        27,200        27,200
      Canada, urban
       centres(xx)          11,157        10,487       150,800       150,100
        Canada, singles,
         urban centres       6,096         4,335        66,100        62,700
        Canada, multiples,
         urban centres       5,061         6,152        84,700        87,400

        Atlantic region,
         urban centres         651           574         8,400         8,100
        Quebec, urban
         centres             2,668         2,747        42,000        36,700
        Ontario, urban
         centres             3,484         4,097        55,500        60,300
        Prairie region,
         urban centres       2,237         1,578        26,800        25,100
        British Columbia,
         urban centres       2,117         1,491        18,100        19,900

    Source: CMHC

    (*) Seasonally adjusted annual rates
    (xx) Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
         Detailed data available upon request.

For further information:

For further information: on this release: Julie Girard, CMHC Media
Relations, (613) 748-4684, Cell: (613) 295-6330, jagirard@cmhc-schl.gc.ca;
This release is also available on the CMHC Web site:
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Stéphanie Bento, CMHC Media Relations, (613)
748-2811, Cell: (613) 808-9670, sbento@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; For regional starts
information contact: Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902) 426-8964,
amacdona@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514) 283-4488,
khughes@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC, (416) 218-3407,
ttsiakop@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Prairie provinces: Richard Corriveau, CMHC, (403)
515-3005, rcorrive@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC,
(604) 737-4067, cfrketic@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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