TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban* centres grew for a third consecutive month in February. An estimated 62,600 residential housing units broke ground, up from 48,400 units in January. While multi-family home construction, which includes semi-detached, townhome and apartment units, was the largest contributor to the February strength, single detached construction also edged higher and has posted better than expected activity to date in 2011. For the year ending February, Ontario total new home construction in urban areas is running 3 per cent below levels for the same period one year ago.

"Ontario new home starts activity has exhibited a seesaw pattern in recent months suggesting the downtrend in activity since the spring of 2010 is levelling out," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC`s Regional Economist. "Buoyant resale and new home market conditions since the final months of 2010, an improving economy coupled with the fear of rising rates later this year implies housing starts should move convincingly higher by the second half of 2011," added Tsiakopoulos.

To view "Ontario Urban SAAR Starts, 000s", please visit the following link:

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Ontario Starts, Urban 10,000 and Over - 2010/11SAAR
  December January February % Change
Total 43,800 48,400 62,600 29.3%
Single 23,700 24,500 25,200 2.9%
Multiple 20,100 23,900 37,400 56.5%
Ontario Actual Starts, Urban 10,000+ - February
  February Year-to-Date
  2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change
Total 4,104 3,982 -3.0% 7,508 7,282 -3.0%
Single 1,580 1,191 -24.6% 3,452 2,609 -24.4%
Multiple 2,524 2,791 10.6% 4,056 4,673 15.2%
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 Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Charles Sauriol
(613) 748-2799