by Andrew Rivett
New home construction starts in December 2010 were at the level of 171,500 units, going down by 13.5% from 198,200 units measured in November 2010. These are the statistics released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) which reports units of seasonally adjusted annual rate housing starts. All December statistics are yet to be verified and we will see the actual updated numbers in the January edition of Monthly Housing Statistics by CMHC.
Considerably lower levels in the multiple starts segment, mainly in Ontario, contributed a lot to the drop in December's numbers. Single-detached houses moved also down, but only gently. The rate of urban starts lost 13.3% compared to the previous month, ending at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 149,100 units in December. Urban multiples dropped to 84,500 units in December, which is a decline of 20.1%. Single urban starts moved down only by 2.6% to 64,600 units. Rural starts rate fell by 14.5% to a preliminary 22,400 units.
The regional structure of monthly movements in Canada's seasonally adjusted annual rate construction starts was mixed. British Columbia lead the charts with an increase of 46.8% in urban starts in December 2010. Quebec experienced a rise also, jumping by 13.5%. Prairie Region stood almost still with a gain of 0.7%. Ontario didn't do well with a decrease by 45.4% followed by Atlantic Canada, which moderated by 9.8% in December.