Canadian housing starts increase in May

The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts increased to 128,400 units in May from 117,600 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

OTTAWA, June 8, 2009 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts increased to 128,400 units in May from 117,600 units in April, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The increase in May is broadly based, encompassing both the singles and multiples segments,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.

Housing starts are expected to improve throughout 2009 and over the next several years to gradually become more closely aligned to demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 11.1 per cent to 107,800 units in May. Urban multiple starts increased 11.1 per cent to 60,900 units, while urban single starts also moved up by 11.1 per cent to 46,900 units in May.

May’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 22.0 per cent in Ontario, 16.8 per cent in the Prairies, 7.3 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and 3.3 per cent in Quebec. Urban starts declined 5.0 per cent in British Columbia.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,600 units in May2.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

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.

2 — CMHC estimates the level of rural starts 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 rural areas and revises the estimate.

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