Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has reported a six-per-cent month-over-month increase in housing starts.
In a report released March 8, CMHC said housing starts in Canada in February were 11,259, or 181,900 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. This is six per cent higher than the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 170,600 housing starts across Canada in January.
CMHC attributes the jump to increases in the Prairie provinces and Ontario, especially in multiple units.
While the annual pace of single dwelling starts in urban areas edged up three per cent, from 64,200 in January to 66,100 in February, housing starts for multiple dwellings in urban centres jumped 14.5 per cent, from 82,900 to 94,900, during the same period.
Annualized housing starts increased 26 per cent in urban centres in the Prairies, from 23,800 to 30,000.
Housing starts dropped in Quebec (by 7.1 per cent), British Columbia (5.9 per cent) and the Atlantic region (24.7 per cent), when measured by the SAAR.
The report comes three weeks after CMHC forecast increases in housing starts this year and next. On Feb. 17, the national housing agency predicted total starts nationwide this year will range between 157,300 and 192,200, while housing starts in 2012 will range from 154,600 to 211,200. At that time, CMHC predicted housing starts this year and next would move “in line with long-term demographic fundamentals.”