Real Estate — January 9, 2013

December 2012 Housing Starts in Kitchener

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 9, 2013) - Housing starts in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 2,136 units in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR)1 of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 3,376 units in December, up from 953 in November.

"Demand for more affordable housing in 2012 led to the increase in starts for semi-detached homes, townhomes and apartments. With uncertain employment conditions, some consumers put their home purchases on hold, while others looked to more affordable housing alternatives. More than half of all starts in 2012 were apartments due to the strong demand from smaller households, students, immigrants and young professionals. Local initiatives for higher-density housing also contributed to the increase in townhome and apartment construction," said Erica McLerie, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

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 multiples segment includes apartments, rows and semi-detached homes.

New home construction increased in December compared to November. Construction began on 278 homes in December, up from the 105 units started in December 2011. Builders started 52 single-detached homes, down from the 87 homes started a year ago. Townhouse starts increased to 44 units, while apartment starts increased to 178 units compared to 8 units in December 2011. Due solely to the decline in single-detached construction, housing starts in 2012 were lower than starts in 2011.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

1 All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts and the trend estimate, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels. By removing seasonal ups and downs, seasonal adjustment allows for a comparison from one season to the next and from one month to the next. Reporting monthly figures at annual rates indicates the annual level of starts that would be obtained if the monthly pace was maintained for 12 months. This facilitates comparison of the current pace of activity to annual forecasts as well as to historical annual levels.

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca.

Additional data is available upon request.

(Ce document existe également en français)

To view the graph and tables associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/KITCHENER010813EN.pdf.

Contact Information

Market Analysis Contact:
Erica McLerie
416-218-3318
emclerie@cmhc.ca

Media Contact:
Beth Bailey
416-218-3355
bbailey@cmhc.ca

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