Housing starts in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 32,678 units in April compared to 34,555 in March 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 trend in housing starts in Toronto eased in April compared to March. Starts of both new apartments and single-detached homes trended down, reflecting slower sales in 2012 and 2013. The trend for semi and row home starts moved higher, as activity shifted towards the lower-priced low-rise homes,” said Ed Heese, CMHC’s Toronto Senior Market Analyst.
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 stand alone monthly SAAR was 36,071 units in April, up from 16,974 in March. This is the result of a return to a more usual rate for apartment starts after an unusually low rate the previous month.
Extended Preliminary Housing Starts data is available in English and French HERE.
(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.