Real Estate — January 9, 2013

December and Year 2012 Housing Starts in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 9, 2013) - Housing starts in Ontario were trending at 71,119 units in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts. 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. 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. Modest job growth versus the recent past, better supplied resale markets, and a high level of apartment units under construction are headwinds for the residential construction industry 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.

While urban housing starts grew by over 14 per cent in 2012 to reach 74,418 units, almost as many centres posted declines as the number that posted increases this year. Residential construction grew the fastest in London, Hamilton and Toronto while declining faster in Kingston and Sudbury.

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.

1 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.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

Additional data is available upon request.

(Ce document existe également en français)

To view the graph and table associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/19ON_E.pdf

Contact Information

Market Analysis Contact:
Ted Tsiakopoulos
416-218-3407 or Cell: 416-579-4992
ttsiakop@cmhc.ca

Media Contact:
Beth Bailey
416-218-3355 or Cell: 416-988-4615
bbailey@cmhc.ca

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