Overview of MAC’s Surveys / Data Sources
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Overview of MAC’s Surveys / Data Sources. Pierre A. Lanciault National Manager, Housing Market Surveys Market Analysis Centre (CMHC). April 26, 2010 Duration: 30 minutes. Presentation Summary. Overview of the Market Analysis Centre (MAC) MAC’s Surveys in a Nutshell

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Overview of MAC’s Surveys / Data Sources

Pierre A. Lanciault

National Manager, Housing Market Surveys

Market Analysis Centre (CMHC)

April 26, 2010

Duration: 30 minutes


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  • Overview of the Market Analysis Centre (MAC)

  • MAC’s Surveys in a Nutshell

  • Starts & Completions Survey (SCS) and Market Absorption Survey (MAS)

  • Rental Market Surveys (RMS)

  • Other Surveys…

  • Other Data Sources…

  • Miscellaneous

  • Questions and Answers


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  • General description

    • Market Analysis Centre (MAC) is responsible for collecting / analyzing data and disseminating the results (to internal and external clients).

    • MAC has close to 120 permanent employees divided between the Regions and the National Office.

    • MAC has three functions: Surveys, Business / IT and Economic Analysis.

  • Main activities

    • Various housing market surveys

    • Development of tools and systems

    • Publication of data, analyses and forecasts


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  • Current surveys

    • Starts & Completions Survey (SCS)

    • Market Absorption Survey (MAS)

    • Rental Market Surveys (RMS)

    • Seniors’ Housing Surveys (SHS)

    • Secondary Rental Market Surveys: 3 components

    • Renovation & Home Purchase Survey (RHPS)

  • Other surveys

    • New Home Sale Survey (NHSS) - as a pilot -

    • Conventional Lenders’ Survey (CLS)

    • Different special surveys (national or regional) often in the form of research projects


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  • General description – SCS and MAS

    • Objective: Monitor activities associated with new residential constructions

    • Three steps: start (“foundation”), completion (“finished construction”) and absorption (“inhabited dwelling”)

    • Categorization by housing type (e.g. single) and by intended market (e.g. rental)

    • Enumeration in person or through contacts

    • This is a census, not a survey (no sampling… except in rural areas).

    • Certain aspects are not covered: conversions (e.g. condominiums), multi-purpose buildings, etc.


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  • Geographic coverage

    • All centres with 50,000+ inhabitants: census metropolitan areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs)

    • Vast majority of centres with 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants (with some exceptions)

    • Reserves are not covered (BC is an exception).

    • All the rest… rural areas (modelled by sampling in five strata for the province overall)

  • Time coverage

    • 50,000+ inhabitants (and exceptions): monthly

    • 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants and rural: quarterly


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  • Operational approach

    • Receipt of building permits from the different municipalities (through an agreement with StatCan)

    • Initial visit to verify the presence of a foundation

    • Contact with builders… data collection

    • Monthly (or quarterly) visits to monitor construction stages (data update)

  • Other characteristics

    • MAS is conducted in 50,000+ centres (+ exceptions).

    • Automatic completion in centres with 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants

    • Data, results and analyses are produced for all centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants.


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  • General description – RMS

    • Objective: Monitor the state of the rental market in Canada twice a year (October and April)

    • Statistics sought: vacancy rates, availability rates and rents (also some data on the universe)

    • RMS covers all private structures (apartments and row / town houses) with three or more unit.

    • Characterization by bedroom type and by structure size (e.g. 50 units +)

    • Universe comprises more than 170,000 structures.

    • Around 40% of structures (70% of units) are included in the sample every October.


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  • Geographic coverage and sampling

    • RMS covers all centres with 10,000+ inhabitants (with some exceptions).

    • Centres with 10,000 to 49,999 inhabitants are enumerated (100% sampled, except in Quebec).

    • Centres with 50,000+ inhabitants are sampled based on a stratification by geography and structure size (number of units).

    • All structures with more than 50 units are enumerated (100% sampled).

    • The basic geographic unit is the census tract.

    • CMHC has defined “rental zones” based on these census tracts (for results dissemination).


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  • Operational approach

    • Continuous updating of the RMS universe (declared final on June 30 and December 31)

    • Sample selection in August and February

    • Establishment of a list of contacts (owners, property managers, superintendents, etc.)

    • Conduct of RMS (physical enumeration) during the first two weeks of October and April

    • Comprehensive data quality control

    • Statistical treatments (e.g. weighting)

    • Data analysis and creation of tables / reports

    • Availability of final results (usually around mid December and mid June)


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  • Other characteristics

    • A Rural RMS (RRMS) is conducted every 5 years (pre-census year) across the country.

      • Conducted upon request from CMHC’s Research

      • Division

      • Some regions conduct sporadic RRMS for internal

        purposes (mainly BC and Atlantic).

    • All results / data released must meet a stringent statistical validation (CVs are published with the data).

    • Availability rate may be considered problematic in Quebec (because of “July 1st”).

    • Quebec has, by far, the largest rental housing stock in Canada (structure wise).


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  • Seniors’ Housing Survey (SHS)

    • The SHS targets private or non-profit residences

      • Majority of residents are 65+ year old

      • Residences must provide on-site meal plan.

      • Heavy care must not be mandatory.

      • Residences must have at least 10 units.

    • The SHS is a census since February 2010

    • Survey data is obtained through a combination of telephone, fax and e-mail interviews with owners, managers and residence administrators.

    • The survey collects rents and vacancy rates by unit type, as well as, other property information such as amenities, utilities, date opened, renovations, etc.


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  • Secondary Rental Market Surveys (3 components)

    • Condo Apartment Vacancy Survey

      • A census of all apartment condos (some

        exceptions where a sample of structures is

        enumerated*)

      • Conducted in September in Montreal*, Quebec,

        Toronto*, Ottawa, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton,

        Calgary, Vancouver* and Victoria

      • Key information collected: vacancy rates, rental

        rates (i.e. % of condos normally rented vs.

        owned) and condo universe

      • Data collected at the structure level from

        property managers, condo boards, etc.


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  • Secondary Rental Market Surveys (3 components)

    • Condo Apartment Rent Survey

      • A telephone survey of condominium residents

        who are renting.

      • Conducted in October in Montreal, Quebec,

        Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria

        and Vancouver

      • The goal of this survey is to provide estimates of

        average rents for condo apartments.

      • Some information are collected on dwelling and

        household characteristics.

      • Conducted by an external consultant using a

        CATI system.


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  • Secondary Rental Market Surveys (3 components)

    • Household Rent Survey

      • A random telephone survey of household

        residents within certain centres. Data are

        collected from only those who are renting.

      • Conducted in September in Toronto, Montreal,

        Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Quebec,

        Halifax, Abbotsford, St. John’s, Kelowna, Victoria,

        Saskatoon, Regina and Barrie

      • The goal of this survey is to provide estimates of

        average rents, rental rates and the size of the

        secondary rental market.

      • Conducted by an external consultant using a

        CATI system


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  • Renovation & Home Purchase Survey (RHPS)

    • The RHPS is conducted annually in February-March by an external consultant using a CATI system.

    • The RHPS is conducted in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver for all components.

    • The “actual” Renovation component is conducted in five additional centres: St. John’s, Quebec, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

    • The survey look at the previous and at the current calendar year (actual data and intentions).

    • Data collected: types of renovation, renovation expenses, reasons for renovation, first time home buyers, reasons for buying a house, etc.


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  • New Home Sale Survey (NHSS) - as a pilot -

    • The NHSS is conducted in Saint John, Quebec, London, Guelph, Kitchener, Saskatoon, Calgary and Victoria on a monthly basis.

    • The goal of this survey is to collect new home sale information (price, date of sale, etc.) at the transaction level.

    • Discontinued as of April 1, 2010…

  • Conventional Lenders’ Survey

    • Data on approved loans is collected through a form sent to major banks and other lenders

    • This survey is conducted exclusively from N.O. on a quarterly basis.


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  • Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

    • Data available on a monthly basis: raw dollar volume, unit sales, new listings, average prices, etc.

    • Geographic coverage / levels: Canada, provinces and local real estate boards.

    • Seasonally adjusted data is available for most markets.

  • Conference Board of Canada (CBoC)

    • Forecasted economic data for the provinces and the CMAs on a quarterly basis (reports and time series)

    • Data includes labour force, GDP, net migration, personal income, etc.


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  • Statistics Canada

    • All census data through the Research Division

    • Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID)

    • All boundary files (GIS): DA, CT, CSD, CA / CMA, province and Canada levels

    • The most recent street network file (SNF)

    • Building Permits from the municipalities through an agreement with Statistics Canada

  • Geographic Information System (GIS)

    • All structures (almost 2,000,000) from SCS / MAS since 1989 have been geocoded to a point.

    • All structures (more than 170,000) from the RMS have been geocoded to a point.


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  • Data accessibility

    • MAC produces and disseminates several analytical / statistical reports for free on CMHC’s website: Housing Now, Housing Market Outlook, Rental Market Report, Housing Information Monthly, etc.

    • CMHC’s time series

    • Ad hoc request through SAS and other tools

  • MAC’s Data Release Guidelines

    • Access to individual records is limited to MAC Surveys.

    • Special tools have been / will be developed to provide aggregated data at different geographic levels.

    • Confidentiality and data quality / reliability are the main two concerns for MAC.



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