VERD FRANKS
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  Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
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vfranks@trebnet.com
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cmhc updates

New Home Construction off to a Strong Start in 2005

OTTAWA, February 8, 2005 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 203,700 in January, down from 236,300 in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

"Despite the decrease in housing starts in January, the level of activity remains strong and the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts is higher than it was in January 2004," said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "This high level of activity in the housing market is consistent with low mortgage rates and a tight labour market. As 2005 unfolds, we expect these favourable conditions to bring about continued strength in the housing market with starts reaching over 215,000 units, following a 17-year high of 233,431 units last year."

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts fell 14.9 per cent to 175,300 units, with most of the decline coming from multiples. Multiple starts decreased 21.5 per cent in January to 81,400 while single starts declined 8.1 per cent to 93,900 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts declined in all regions across Canada. The largest decreases were in British Columbia and the Prairies, both falling 21.5 per cent. Starts dropped 11.9 per cent in Ontario, 10.8 per cent in the Atlantic region, and 10.3 per cent in Quebec. In all provinces except Quebec, both single and multiple starts decreased in January. In Quebec, however, a 22.1 per cent decrease in urban multiple starts was partially offset by a 9.9 per cent increase in urban single starts.

Rural starts in January were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 28,400 units, a 6.6 per cent decrease from December 2004.

1. All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)-that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels.

 
 


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