TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2014) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 54,219 units in April, compared to 55,230 units in March, 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.

"As expected, Ontario residential construction activity moved higher in April, led by strength in the GTA and Kitchener markets. The jump, which was fuelled by apartment and row construction, was from exceptionally low levels in March. While apartment ownership starts are dominating, rental apartment construction registered strong gains in April. Stronger rental demand, low rental vacancy rates and a backlog of condominium sales that have yet to break ground will continue supporting high density construction during the second quarter," said Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC's Ontario Regional Economist.

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.

The SAAR of total housing starts was 62,627 units in April, up from 37,126 units in March. While the GTA and Kitchener markets posted the strongest growth, increases were broad based across the province and across home types. For the year ending April, Ontario raw urban starts were 6 per cent above levels for the same period one year ago.

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

1All 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 was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Information on this release:

Additional data is available upon request.

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A table and a graph are available at the following link:

Contact Information:

Market Analysis Contact:
Ted Tsiakopoulos
Cell: 416-579-4992

Media Contact:
Beth Bailey
Cell: 416-988-4615