The SAAR of total urban housing starts was 67,514 units in July, up from 55,026 units in June. The growth in residential construction was not broad based but rather driven by increases in the GTA and Kitchener-Guelph areas. For the year ending July, Ontario raw urban starts were four per cent above levels for the same period one year ago.
"While most housing structures posted increases in activity during July, most of the strength was in the Ontario apartment sector. Multi-unit home starts, which include semi detached, row and apartment structures, were skewed by a large condominium project which commenced construction in the GTA. Nevertheless, rising home prices combined with modest income and job growth strengthened demand for less expensive home types - resulting in more support for the multi-unit home sector so far this year," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.
CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.
Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables.
As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.
Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca.
 All starts figures in this release, 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.
Additional data is available upon request.
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