TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 8, 2011) - Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban* centers grew in January. An estimated 48,300 residential housing units broke ground, up from a revised 43,800 units in December. Both singles and multi-family home construction, which includes semi-detached, townhome and apartment units contributed to the January strength. In January, Ontario new home construction in urban areas is running 3 per cent below levels for the same month one year ago.

"Ontario residential construction activity for the month of January has historically been a poor barometer of what activity for the rest of the calendar year will look like," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Regional Economist. "January starts activity has traditionally deviated significantly from underlying trend levels and this year is no exception to the rule. Buoyant resale and new home market conditions in the final months of 2010, coupled with improving job markets suggests housing starts should move convincingly higher in the second half of 2011," added Tsiakopoulos.

To view the graph associated with this release, please visit the following link:

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of 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 vital decisions.

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Ontario Starts, Urban 10,000 and Over - 2010/11 SAAR
  November December January %Change
Total 78,700 43,800 48,300 10.3%
Single 26,000 23,600 24,400 3.4%
Multiple 52,700 20,200 23,900 18.3%

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

* refers to provincial starts in areas with population 10,000+ (urban)

Contact Information: Ontario: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Ted Tsiakopoulos
(416) 218-3407
Canada: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Charles Sauriol
(613) 748-2799