According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), 195,087 homes were started in Canada in February, a trend of the six-month moving average of monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The trend in total housing starts continued to moderate in February. Moderation in economic fundamentals in the second half of 2012 has led to more modest housing demand and builders are adjusting accordingly,” said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC. “Monthly SAAR housing starts moved closer to the six month trend in February, up from January levels, due to a rebound in Ontario and Quebec multi-family starts.”

The standalone monthly SAAR was 180,719 in February compared to 158,998 in January. Urban starts increased by 18.4 per cent led by a 27.7 per cent increase in multiple urban starts totaling 99,022. Single urban starts rose by 6.1 per cent to 62,609 units in February.

Ontario led the way with urban starts with a 46.8 per cent SAAR in February followed by Quebec with 34.9 per cent, British Columbia at 2.1 per cent and the Prairies at 1.5 per cent.