TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2016) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 72,318 units in March, in line with 72,780 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

"The Ontario residential construction trend remained stable in March. Overall activity masks underlying strength in recent months for single detached and apartment rental construction. Single detached demand is being supported by low mortgage rates and continued strength in repeat buying. Meanwhile, investment in rental accommodation is driven by low rental vacancy rates and rising ownership costs As demand continues to shift to less expensive home options, this suggests more underlying strength for higher versus lower density housing" 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 remained elevated at 86,712 units in March, up from 77,047 units in February. For the period ending March 2016, Ontario urban home starts are running 29 per cent higher versus the same period one year ago largely due to stronger single 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.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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