TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 8, 2011) - Ontario preliminary Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of home starts across urban* centres grew for a third consecutive month in March. An estimated 71,900 residential housing units broke ground, up from 63,300 units in February. Higher density construction, led by the apartment sector, drove housing starts activity. The single detached construction sector however posted modest declines in the latest month. Urban markets specializing in ground oriented construction posted declines from this time last year while losing pace against higher density urban communities. For the year ending March, new home construction in Ontario urban areas is running 12 per cent above levels for the same period one year ago.

"Ontario new home starts activity has strengthened ahead of schedule largely driven by more construction of apartment units," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Regional Economist. "Tighter rental markets, higher mortgage carrying costs and less land available for single detached construction suggests high density construction will be the key story for 2011," added Tsiakopoulos.

To view the graph "Ontario Urban SAAR Starts, 000s", 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 - 2011 SAAR
JanuaryFebruaryMarch% Change

Ontario Actual Starts, Urban 10,000+
20102011% Change20102011% Change

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:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Ted Tsiakopoulos
(416) 218-3407

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Charles Sauriol
(613) 748-2799