â€œHousing starts moved slightly higher in January because of an increase in rural starts,â€ said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHCâ€™s Market Analysis Centre. â€œSingle-detached and multiple starts showed a moderate decline.â€
Urban starts fell by 1.7 per cent to 146,900 units in January, led by a 19 per cent drop in the Prairies, 7.9 per cent in BC and 1 per cent in Quebec. Urban starts rose in Atlantic Canada by 13.3 per cent and in Ontario by 10.3 per cent.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 23,500 units in January.
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The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 170,400 units, up from 169,000 units in December 2010. According to final figures, actual housing starts for 2010 totalled 189,930 units, with activity moderating towards demographic fundamentals by the final quarter of 2010.