TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 9, 2015) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 55,009 units in December, up from 54,536 units in November, 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.

"The provincial trend in residential construction activity remained stable in December. December starts increased across the province with both single-detached and multiples construction increasing. The increased activity occurred mainly outside of the Toronto area. Annual starts for Ontario were down from 2013 as a decline in multiples in Toronto offset the gains in this segment outside of the GTA. A slow-down in Toronto condominium apartment sales in late 2012 and 2013 translated into lower starts this year," 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 urban housing starts was 57,049 units in December, up from 55,925 units in November. Three quarters of Ontario urban centers posted increases in December.

For 2014, Ontario raw urban starts were four per cent below levels in 2013. Single-detached starts were marginally higher, while multi-family home construction which includes semi-detached, row and apartment units declined by seven per cent from 2013.

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

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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 was 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 table and a graph are available at the following address:

Contact Information:

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

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