According to statistics recently released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), new housing starts in Canada were preliminary at the rate of 171,500 units in December 2010 measured as the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR)of housing starts. These statistical figures cleared of the seasonal ups and downs represent annual starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months . Actual numbers are being verified and will be available in the next CMHC Monthly Housing Statistics report.
Housing starts in December 2010 dropped overall by 13.5% from 198,200 units in November 2010. This was mainly due to the fall of multiple starts segment, especially in Ontario, where Toronto real estate sector was leading the housing start decline. Single-detached housing went also down, but not considerably. Ontario’s SAAR of urban start plummeted by 45.4% while Atlantic Canada’s urban starts also weakened by 9.8%. Increases were recorded in British Columbia, where the SAAR construction starts shot up by 46.8%. Québec grew also, with a 13.4% rise followed by Prairie Region which strengthen only by 0.7%. New home starts in urban centres with a population of less than 10,000 inhabitants, also referred to as rural starts, dropped by 14.5% to a preliminary level of 22,400 SAAR of construction starts.