ohba home building Housing starts in Ontario were trending at 71,119 units in December, according to new data released today by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

For those who didn’t major in stats in college, the trend is a six month average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (or SAAR) of housing starts. CMHC data indicates that the standalone monthly SAAR was 75,430 units in December, up from 56,526 units in November.

“The Ontario residential construction industry enjoyed a banner year and beat expectations,” said Ted Tsiakopoulos, the CMHC’s Ontario Regional Economist, in a press release.

“Annual home starts hit their highest levels since 2005 on the strength of apartment ownership and rental construction. Despite a jump in December, due in large part to a lower than expected November starts reading, housing starts have moved lower since April and this trend is expected to persist until the latter part of 2013.”

The CMHC uses the six month average is used the complement the monthly SAAR of starts to allow for a more complete picture of the state of the housing market and to accommodate the significant swings in monthly estimates.

If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of the SAAR and how it’s calculated, give this paragraph from the CMHC a read:

“All starts figures, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, 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 allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. 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.”

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