Housing starts in Québec's urban centres were trending at 35,380 units in May, compared to 34,310 in April, 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.
''As was the case in the month of February, and as expected, the housing starts rate hike observed in May is explained by developments in certain large apartment construction sites, notably in downtown Montréal. As work continues on other such sites, more occasional shifts of similar magnitude will occur during the course of this year. That said, the year-to-date total is in line with our forecast'' 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 38,599 units in May, up from 33,573 in April.