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 volatile from one month to the next.
The standalone monthly SAAR was 192,235 units in November, a decrease from 198,161 in October. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 3.4 per cent in November to 171,347 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 3.5 per cent to 111,036 units in November while the single-detached urban starts segment decreased by 3.1 per cent to 60,311 units.
In November, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in British Columbia and the Prairies, were essentially unchanged in Quebec, and decreased in Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 20,888 units.
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.
2 CMHC estimates the level of starts in centres with a population of less than 10,000 for each of the three months of the quarter, at the beginning of each quarter. During the last month of the quarter, CMHC conducts the survey in these centres and revises the estimate.