Starts remain steady

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The cold weather hasn’t cooled housing starts, as CMHC reports steady numbers continuing into the holiday season.

The trend measure (a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts) for housing starts used by the Crown Corporation was 195,792 units in November compared to 195,796 a month prior.

“The trend essentially held steady for a third consecutive month in November,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s Chief Economist. “This is in line with our expectations for 2014, of a stable national picture with new home building concentrated in multiple starts, particularly in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.”

Urban starts, meanwhile, experienced the most significant gain, increasing to 176,343 in November – up from 164,784 in October. The number was bolstered by a large proportion of multi-unit starts.

“The increase was concentrated in multiple urban starts, which reached 112,583 in November, while single-detached urban starts decreased to 63,760 units,” CMHC says in its official release.

Growth in urban market starts was led by British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile, the Prairies saw a decrease in urban housing starts.

“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,” CMHC states. “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.”

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