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Housing Starts Remained Strong in September


October 12, 2008
By Andy Bateman

October 12, 2008 – According to the
Ontario Stone Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA),
over
440 tonnes of aggregate are used in the construction of every house. With that
in mind, aggregate producers may take some comfort from housing starts data released
by the
Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

October 12, 2008 – According to the
Ontario Stone Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA),
over
440 tonnes of aggregate are used in the construction of every house. With that
in mind, aggregate producers may take some comfort from housing starts data released
by the
Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
  

In its October 8, 2008
release, the CMHC reports that the seasonally adjusted annual rate1
of housing starts was 217,600 units in September, up slightly from 217,400
units in August.

 

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“Housing starts remained at
a high level in September, with construction activity again staying above the
200,000 unit threshold.” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market
Analysis Centre. “Higher starts of multiple family homes were behind the rise
in new home construction activity in September.”

 

The seasonally adjusted
annual rate of urban starts rose 0.1 per cent in September, compared
to August. Urban multiples rose in September by 5.5 per cent to 122,500
units. Urban single starts decreased 8.1 per cent to 70,000 units in
September compared to August.

 

September’s seasonally
adjusted annual rate of urban starts went up or remained unchanged in all
regions of Canada, except Ontario, where housing starts decreased by
6.6 per cent to 80,900 units. Urban starts increased to 9,500 units
in Atlantic Canada, 29,000 units in the Prairies, and 33,600 units in British Columbia. In the
Quebec
region, starts remained stable at 39,500 units. Multiple urban starts increased
in all regions in September, with the exception of Ontario, where they decreased by
1.9 per cent.

 

Rural starts were estimated
at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,100 units in September2.

 

For the first nine months
of 2008, actual starts in rural and urban areas combined were down an estimated
5.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date
actual starts in urban areas have decreased by an estimated
0.8 per cent over the same period in 2007. Actual urban single starts
for the January to September period of this year were 15.6 per cent
lower than they were a year earlier, while urban multiple starts were up by
12.2 per cent over the same period.

 

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.

2 CMHC
estimates the level of rural starts for each of the three months of the
quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the
quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in rural areas and revises the estimate.

 


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