CMHC: January 2012 Housing Starts

Yesterday saw the release of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s January 2012 Housing Starts report.  According to the data, housing construction in Toronto has carried its strength from 2011 into 2012, with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of total housing starts increasing to 46,700 units in January.  The overall numbers are slightly down for all of Canada, going from 199,900 units in December to 197,900 in January. Check out the press release below and click here for the full report.

 January 2012 Housing Starts

OTTAWA, February 8, 2012 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 197,900 units in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is down from 199,900 units in December 2011.

“The slight decrease posted in January was attributable to a decrease in Quebec and in Atlantic Canada”, said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The multiple starts segment accounted for most of the reduction in those two regions.”

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 2.8 per cent to 176,600 units in January. Urban single starts decreased by 7.8 per cent in January to 64,900 units, while multiple urban starts were slightly up by 0.4 per cent to 111,700 units.

January’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 35.4 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and by 34.4 per cent in Québec. Urban starts increased by 28 per cent in British Columbia, by 11.1 per cent in Ontario, and by 2.3 per cent in the Prairies.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 21,300 units in January.

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 10,634 12,950 199,900 197,900
Canada, rural areas 811 730 18,300 21,300
Canada, urban centres** 9,823 12,220 181,600 176,600
Canada, singles, urban centres 3,547 3,596 70,400 64,900
Canada, multiples, urban centres 6,276 8,624 111,200 111,700
Atlantic region, urban centres 500 440 13,000 8,400
Quebec, urban centres 2,516 1,712 43,000 28,200
Ontario, urban centres 3,299 5,626 69,600 77,300
Prairie region, urban centres 1,617 2,397 34,900 35,700
British Columbia, urban centres 1,891


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