Housing starts in the St. Catharines-Niagara Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending higher at 1,636 units in December compared to 1,541 in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.
“New home construction ended the year on a positive note,” said CMHC market analyst Edgard Navarrete. “Full-time employment growth and low mortgage rates continued to attract buyers to the new home market. The majority of the new starts were ground-oriented housing, in particular, single-detached homes. New home starts increased significantly in 2014 compared to the previous year. The strongest growth occurred in the smaller communities of Lincoln, Pelham, and Thorold where more land is available for ground-oriented housing construction.”
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.
The SAAR of total housing starts was 2,266 in December, up from 1,469 in November.
Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables