April 2014 Housing Starts in Ontario

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Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 54,219 units in April, compared to 55,230 units in March, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“As expected, Ontario residential construction activity moved higher in April, led by strength in the GTA and Kitchener markets. The jump, which was fuelled by apartment and row construction, was from exceptionally low levels in March. While apartment ownership starts are dominating, rental apartment construction registered strong gains in April. Stronger rental demand, low rental vacancy rates and a backlog of condominium sales that have yet to break ground will continue supporting high density construction during the second quarter,” statedTed 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.

The SAAR of total housing starts was 62,627 units in April, up from 37,126 units in March. While the GTA and Kitchener markets posted the strongest growth, increases were broad based across the province and across home types. For the year ending April, Ontario raw urban starts were 6 per cent above levels for the same period one year ago.

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