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There’s less home building going on in Canada according to the CMHC’s latest report. Housing starts were trending at 184,476 units in March compared to 191,126 in February. That trend represents the six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“In March, the trend in housing starts declined below 190,000 units for the first time in six months, reflecting a decrease in multiple unit starts. Lower starts activity over the remainder of the year compared to 2013 is anticipated as builders continue to adjust activity in order to manage inventory levels,” said Mathieu Laberge, Deputy Chief Economist at CMHC, in the news release.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 156,823 units in March, a notable decrease from 190,639 in February. For urban starts, the SAAR dropped by 18.8 per cent in March to 142,502 units. Multiple urban starts showed the biggest drop: they fell to 87,372 units, a 25.5 per cent decrease. The single-detached urban starts also decreased by 5.4 per cent to 55,130 units.

Country-wide, the story varies from region to region. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia and the Prairies, but decreased in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec.

Here’s the regional breakdown for the SAAR of urban centres:

  • Month-to-month, starts in British Columbia rose to 26,276 in March, a 20.2 per cent increase from 21,861 in February.
  • Across the Prairies, starts were trending at 44,465 in March, up 9.6 per cent from 40,587 the month before.
  • It was a noticeably different story in Ontario, where starts fell from 57,675 in February to 37,094 in March, a decrease of 35.7 per cent.
  • In Quebec, starts dropped to 30,677 in March, a 35.1 per cent decline from the 47,234 starts seen the previous month.
  • In Atlantic Canada, starts fell from 8,221 to 3,990, a month-to-month drop of 51.5 per cent.

For more details check out the table below…

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