VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2012) - Housing starts in urban areas1 of British Columbia were trending at 26,000 units in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)2 of urban housing starts. The stand alone monthly SAAR was 28,600 units in August, up from 24,200 units in July.

"The pace of new home construction remains on track with CMHC's forecast for the year," said Carol Frketich, CMHC's BC Regional Economist. Multiple-family housing accounted for three-quarters of urban starts in August and for the first eight months of the year, a higher share than in 2011. CMHC predicts an 11.8 per cent increase in multiple-family construction in 2012, with a stable level of single- detached home starts.

For some markets, CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analysing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets which can be quite variable from one month to the next.

Actual urban housing starts totalled 2,480 last month, compared to 2,057 recorded in August 2011.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. 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. CMHC Market Analysis standard reports are also available free for download at

Preliminary housing starts numbers are summarized in the attached table.

1 Urban areas have a population of 10,000 or more.

2 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.

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To view the tables associated with this press release please click on the following link:

Contact Information:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Carol Frketich
BC Regional Economist