TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 9, 2016) - Housing starts in the Ontario region were trending at 70,135 units in April, down from 71,889 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) of housing starts.

"The Ontario residential construction trend moved lower in April and remains below its peak in January of 2016. The decline in April was due solely to the apartment sector where starts moved to a more sustainable longer term level. Overall activity masks underlying strength in recent months for low-rise construction. Demand for single detached homes is supported by low mortgage rates, an undersupplied low-rise resale market and improving income growth. Meanwhile, households unable to afford a single detached home are opting for other ground oriented options such as row 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 declined to 62,672 units in April, down from 85,518 units in March. Multi-unit starts, more specifically apartment starts, were responsible for the decline in April starts. For the period ending April 2016, Ontario urban home starts are running 19 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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