Ground Water Canada

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December urban, rural housing starts saw modest decline


January 9, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

Jan. 9, 2015, Ottawa – Urban and rural housing starts declined slightly
in December, but rural starts were on par with the level seen in January
2014.

Jan. 9, 2015, Ottawa – Urban and rural housing starts declined slightly in December, but rural starts were on par with the level seen in January 2014.

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The trend measure of housing
starts in Canada was 192,047 units in December, down slightly from 194,807 in
November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 

 

"The modest decline in the trend in December
reflected lower levels of both multiple and single-detached starts,"
said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist, in a news release. "Overall, activity in 2014
continued to be supported by employment growth and migration with starts
remaining essentially unchanged at 189,401(2) compared to 187,923 in
2013. These factors are expected to continue to promote stability in the
pace of new home construction during 2015."

 

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of
housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates
and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canada's housing
market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading,
as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market, which
can vary significantly from one month to the next.

 

The standalone monthly SAAR was 180,560 units in
December, down from 193,199 in November. The SAAR of urban starts
decreased to 162,915 in December, from 173,627 in November. The decrease
was led by multiple urban starts, which decreased to 103,054 units in
December from 110,766 in November, while single-detached urban starts
decreased to 59,861 units from 62,861.

 

Urban housing starts saw relatively large declines
in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Prairies, while urban housing starts
registered modest gains in Ontario and British Columbia.

 

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,645 units. That number is down from the November estimate of 19,277, but up slightly from the January 2014 estimate of 17,090. 

 

Numbers are fluid, with estimates over the last four months as follows: November: 19,277; October: 18,921; September: 20,324; and August: 16,700.