MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - July 9, 2013) - Housing starts in Quebec's urban centres were trending at 30,687 units in June compared to 31,581 in May according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)(1) of housing starts.

"In the first half of 2013, total housing starts decreased by 25 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier. A reduction of the same magnitude was observed in both the single-detached and multi-unit housing segments. In the case of single-detached houses, the drop in activity was attributable, among other things, to the slowdown in the job market and the easing of the resale market, where supply is increasing and the growth in prices is waning. The drop in multi-unit housing construction resulted from the relatively high supply currently available on the market. This market context applies to most of Quebec's major urban centres and is in line with our forecasts," said Kevin Hughes, Senior Economist at CMHC for Quebec.

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, analyzing 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.

The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 30,051 units in June, down from 32,439 in May.

Preliminary housing starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of 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.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca.

(1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, 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 allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace were maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Additional data is available upon request.

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A graph and tables are available at the following address:

Contact Information:

Market Analysis Contact
Kevin Hughes

Media Contact
Monique Laplante