CMHC: April 2012 Housing Starts Up

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released the April 2012 Housing Starts report this week.  The numbers show that housing starts are up from March at 244,900 units, which is higher than economists’ were predicting.   In the report they state, “Clear evidence of a bubble is lacking,”and go on to say, “[the] CMHC continues to monitor very closely housing prices and underlying factors such as demographic and economic fundamentals and financial conditions across all major urban centers, including condominium markets.”  Below is the news release from the CMHC and if you would like to look at the Preliminary Housing Start Data for April 2012, click here.

April 2012 Housing Starts

OTTAWA, May 8, 2012 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 244,900 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 214,800 units in March.

“Most of the increase was in the multiples segment. The increase in this segment is partly a reflection of the high level of pre-sales in large multi-unit projects since 2011, which is in line with job gains over the last year,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “Looking at single-detached homes, 67,700 such units were started across Canada in April, a rate which is consistent with that of the recent past,” added Laberge.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 18.0 per cent to 226,200 units in April. Urban single starts increased modestly by 0.6 per cent in April to 67,700 units. Meanwhile, multiple urban starts increased by 27.4 per cent to 158,500 units.

April’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 56.5 per cent in Québec, by 12.2 per cent in Ontario, by 6.3 per cent in the Prairies and British Columbia, and by 2.6 per cent in Atlantic Canada. In each region, the increase was mainly due to multiple starts, particularly in Québec and Ontario. Meanwhile, single-detached starts decreased in April in all regions, with the exception of Ontario (+7.9 per cent).

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18,700 units in April.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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 informed decisions.

For more information, call 1-800-668-2642. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at

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.

Housing Starts in Canada — All Areas

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
Actual SAAR
Source: CMHC
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates
**Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.
Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 16,766 21,094 214,800 244,900
Canada, rural areas 1,901 1,906 23,100 18,700
Canada, urban centres** 14,865 19,188 191,700 226,200
Canada, singles, urban centres 5,760 5,945 67,300 67,700
Canada, multiples, urban centres 9,105 13,243 124,400 158,500
Atlantic region, urban centres 615 529 7,700 7,900
Quebec, urban centres 3,743 5,125 35,200 55,100
Ontario, urban centres 6,157 7,803 85,000 95,400
Prairie region, urban centres 2,452 3,864 43,000 45,700
British Columbia, urban centres 1,898 1,867 20,800 22,100

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