TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 8, 2015) - Housing starts in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending higher at 3,385 units in September compared to 3,338 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)1 of housing starts.

"Total housing starts trended slightly higher due to higher townhouse starts. The trend for single-detached and semi-detached starts was stable, while apartment starts trended slightly lower. Builders/developers are holding off on starting many new apartment projects until the more than 4,000 units currently under construction near completion. Strong demand from students, young households, immigrants and seniors supported demand for the apartment boom in the last two years. A tight resale market has meant more spill-over to the new home ownership market, boosting demand for single-detached homes and townhouses," said Erica McLerie, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC.

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 multiples segment includes apartments, rows and semi-detached homes.

The SAAR of total housing starts was 5,337 units in September, up from 3,680 units in August. The increase in the SAAR was due to more apartment starts. Apartments can vary significantly from month to month. Although they were relatively high in September, the year-to-date number was down. For the first three quarters of 2015, actual starts have declined by 19.4 per cent from the same time last year, mainly due to fewer apartment starts.

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 information 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 graph and tables are available at the following link:

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Angelina Ritacco