Housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 11,461 units in December, 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 total housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR was 10,618 units in December, down from 11,902 in November.

“The pace of total housing starts in December declined from the previous month due to fewer multi-family units breaking ground, while single detached construction increased,” said Richard Cho, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary. “Despite the moderation, total housing starts in 2012 finished the year above 2011 levels.”

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.

Actual total housing starts in December were 866 units with 528 single-detached houses and 338 multiple-family homes. Year-to-date housing starts totalled 12,841, higher than the 9,292 housing starts recorded in the same period of 2011.