According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Canadian housing market performed better than expected in September with housing starts trending at 190,492 units, up from 188,440 in August. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“The trend in total housing starts edged up slightly in September, while remaining close to the range of roughly 182,000 to 188,000 units that was observed between March and August of 2013. This recent moderate gain is consistent with sales of existing homes, which have trended higher since February 2013,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC, in the news release.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 193,637 units in September, a boost from 183,964 in August. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 4.3 per cent in September to 177,240 units. The biggest boost was in multiple urban starts, which increased by 5.9 per cent to 113,705 units in September while the single urban starts segment saw an increase of 1.4 per cent to 63,535 units.
In September, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada, the Prairies, British Columbia and Quebec. Ontario was the only region to see a drop in starts.
For actual starts in the month of September, Ontario saw a 19 per cent decrease in starts from the same time in 2012, while British Columbia, which recently recorded a surge in building permits, saw a 10 per cent gain in starts.
Counting housing starts from the start of the year to the end of September, the CMHC noted a drop in starts in Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. The prairie provinces appeared immune to the declines though many posted only moderate gains, led by Manitoba, which measured a 15 per cent increase from the same nine month period in 2012.
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