OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 8, 2011) - The seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of housing starts was 170,400 units in January, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 169,000 units in December 2010. According to final figures, actual housing starts for 2010 totalled 189,930 units, with activity moderating towards demographic fundamentals by the final quarter of 2010.

"Housing starts moved slightly higher in January because of an increase in rural starts," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Single-detached and multiple starts were down, but minimally."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 1.7 per cent to 146,900 units in January. Urban multiple starts moderated by 1.5 per cent in January to 82,900 units, while single urban starts moved lower by 2.0 per cent to 64,000 units.

January's seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 19.0 per cent in the Prairie Region, by 7.9 per cent in British Columbia, and by 1.0 per cent in Québec. Urban starts increased by 13.3 per cent in Atlantic Canada and by 10.3 per cent in Ontario.

Rural starts(2) were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,500 units in January.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. 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.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

For regional starts information contact:
Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC,
(902) 426-8964,
Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC,
(514) 283-4488,
Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC,
(416) 218-3407,
Prairie provinces: Lai Sing Louie, CMHC,
(403) 515-2991,
British Columbia: Carol Frketich, CMHC,
(604) 737-4067,

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The graph "Housing Starts in Canada - All Areas*" is available at the following link:

Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR*
  Actual SAAR
  Revised Preliminary Revised Preliminary
Canada, all areas 11,172 10,584 169,000 170,400
  Canada, rural areas 734 811 19,500 23,500
  Canada, urban centres** 10,438 9,773 149,500 146,900
    Canada, singles, urban centres 4,840 3,463 65,300 64,000
    Canada, multiples, urban centres 5,598 6,310 84,200 82,900
    Atlantic region, urban centres 441 480 7,500 8,500
    Quebec, urban centres 2,973 2,534 41,400 41,000
    Ontario, urban centres 3,404 3,300 43,800 48,300
    Prairie region, urban centres 1,934 1,516 28,900 23,400
    British Columbia, urban centres 1,686 1,943 27,900 25,700
Source: CMHC
*Seasonally adjusted annual rates
** Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
Detailed data available upon request.

(1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, 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 makes it possible to highlight the fundamental trends of a series. 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.

(2) CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.

Contact Information: Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations