Housing starts in Québec's urban centres were trending at 32,628 units in August, compared to 35,401 in July, 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.
''During the first eight months of the year, housing starts have evolved according to expectations. Apart from a few months where the rate jumped up as a result of certain large projects in downtown Montréal, the pace has remained relatively stable and comparable to that observed in 2013. It is important to note that this current rate is well below that recorded in 2011 and 2012. Moreover, this slowdown has occured in the two main market segments: on the single-detached side, the drop is attributable to rising supply of resale homes and slow employment growth. In the case of multi-unit starts, they have decreased as a result of the growing stock of newly completed and unoccupied apartments'' said Kevin Hughes, CMHC Regional Economist for the province of Quebec.
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, analyzing 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 31,311 units in August, down from 31,810 in July.