VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Jan. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in British Columbia's urban areas1 were trending at 27,988 units in December compared to 27,568 in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)2 of housing starts.

"The trend level of housing starts was relatively unchanged from August through to the end of 2014, reflecting balanced market conditions, both for new and existing homes," said Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist. "On an annual basis, the number of single-detached housing starts increased in most centres of the province compared to 2013. The number of multiple-family housing starts were down marginally as a slight increase in the Vancouver CMA was offset by declines in the Abbotsford-Mission and Victoria CMAs."

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 standalone monthly SAAR was 29,195 units in December, compared to 28,647 units in November.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

1 Urban areas are centres with populations of 10,000 or more people.

2 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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A graph and tables are available at the following link:

Contact Information:

Carol Frketich
Cell: 604-787-5598

Media Contact:
Jeanette Wilkinson
Cell: 604-360-7793