VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 8, 2011) - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports that there were 1,436 housing starts in March in British Columbia, a decrease compared to the same month a year ago. Fewer single-detached homes contributed to the decrease. Multiple-unit home starts, which include apartments, townhouses and semi-detached homes, were up compared to March 2010 levels.

"For the first quarter of 2011, residential construction in British Columbia is close to last year's levels," noted Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate1 (SAAR) of total housing starts increased to 188,800 units in March, from 183,700 units in February. In British Columbia, March's seasonally adjusted rate of urban2 housing starts moved lower to 18,000 units, from 23,500 units in the previous month.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 65 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.

For more information, and to download CMHC's housing reports, please visit CMHC's website at or call 1-800-668-2642.

Preliminary housing starts numbers are summarized in the attached tables. To view these tables, please click on:

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1 Seasonally-adjusted annual rates (SAARs) are monthly housing starts figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. This facilitates the comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

2 Urban housing starts refers to housing starts in centres with 10,000 population and over.

Contact Information:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Carol Frketich
BC Regional Economist
(604) 737-4067 or Cell: (604) 787-5598