Housing starts move higher in February

    OTTAWA, March 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of
housing starts was 256,900 units in February, up from 222,700 units in
January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
    "New home construction in February was boosted by the significant rise in
multiple-family starts," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market
Analysis Centre. "The robust results achieved this month are mainly attributed
to increased condominium starts, which reflect strong condominium sales over
the past year or two. Despite this sizeable growth in February, we continue to
expect that the trend in housing starts will decrease gradually between now
and the end of 2008."
    In February the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased
18.0 per cent to 223,700 units compared to January. Urban multiples jumped
30.3 per cent to 140,700 units in February, while singles rose 1.8 per cent to
83,000 units.
    The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in four of
Canada's five regions in February. Urban starts registered an increase of
45.2 per cent in British Columbia, 26.2 per cent in Quebec, 16.9 per cent in
the Atlantic region and 16.4 per cent in Ontario. The Prairies bucked the
trend and registered a decline of 9.6 per cent in February. Urban multiple
starts were up in all regions except in the Atlantic and the Prairies. Urban
singles were up in all regions except British Columbia and the Prairies.
    Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
33,200 units in February.
    Actual starts, in rural and urban areas combined, were up an estimated
8.1 per cent in the first two months of 2008 compared to the same period in
2007. In urban areas, actual total starts increased by an estimated 10.4 per
cent year-to-date. Actual urban single starts from January to February 2008
were down 11.0 per cent compared to the same period in 2007, while multiple
starts grew by approximately 25.9 per cent over the same period.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 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.

    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

    (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.

    (Ce document existe également en français)

                     Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR(*)
                                        Actual                  SAAR
                               February     February    January     February
                                   2007         2008       2008         2008
                                  Final  Preliminary      Final  Preliminary
    Canada, all areas            10,956       14,797    222,700      256,900
      Canada, rural areas         1,485        1,361     33,200       33,200
      Canada, urban centres(xx)   9,471       13,436    189,500      223,700
       Canada, singles,
        urban centres             4,447        4,203     81,500       83,000
       Canada, multiples,
        urban centres             5,024        9,233    108,000      140,700

       Atlantic region,
        urban centres               275          242      7,100        8,300
       Quebec, urban centres      1,871        2,810     40,500       51,100
       Ontario, urban centres     2,549        4,293     67,700       78,800
       Prairie region,
        urban centres             2,706        2,381     40,600       36,700
       British Columbia,
        urban centres             2,070        3,710     33,600       48,800
    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: Kristen Scheel, CMHC Media
Relations, (613) 748-4632, kscheel@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Julie Girard, CMHC Media
Relations, (613)748-4684, jagirard@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; This release is also
available on the CMHC Web site: http://www.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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