​Housing starts measure drops to end year

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The trend measure of housing starts in Canada dropped to 192,047 in December, compared to 194,807 a month prior, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

“The modest decline in the trend in December reflected lower levels of both multiple and single-detached starts,” Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist said. “Overall, activity in 2014 continued to be supported by employment growth and migration with starts remaining essentially unchanged at 189,4012 compared to 187,923 in 2013. These factors are expected to continue to promote stability in the pace of new home construction during 2015.”

The trend measure is used along with the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts to give a more accurate prediction, according to the Crown Corporation which says that analyzing SAAR only can be misleading due to the fact that it is largely driven by multi-unit housing segments.

“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,” a CMHC release, published Friday states. “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 “modest” gains in both Ontario and British Columbia.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the Prairies registered “relatively large” declines.


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