Housing starts in Canada were trending at 203,208 units in January, according to new data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 160,577 units in January, down from 197,118 in December. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 22.3% in January to 138,134 units. Single urban starts decreased by 11.2% to 59,318 units and multiple urban starts decreased by 28.9% to 78,816 units.
‘The trend in total housing starts has been moderating since September 2012 and in existing home sales since May 2012,’ says Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at the CMHC. ‘Trends in the two market segments typically follow a similar pattern with the new home market lagging behind the existing home market by a few months. The current trend is also in line with CMHC's housing market outlook, which calls for moderation in housing starts activity in 2013.’
January's seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts decreased in Ontario (-43.9%), Quebec (-29.6%) and the Prairies (-5.9%). Urban starts increased in Atlantic Canada (59.4%) and British Columbia (7.7%). Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,443 units in January.