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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


Presentation Summary

  • 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

Overview of MAC

  • 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

MAC’s Surveys in a Nutshell

  • 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

Construction Surveys – 1

  • 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.

Construction Surveys – 2

  • 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

Construction Surveys – 3

  • 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.

Rental Market Survey – 1

  • 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.

Rental Market Survey – 2

  • 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).

Rental Market Survey – 3

  • 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)

Rental Market Survey – 4

  • 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).

Other Surveys - 1

  • 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.

Other Surveys - 2

  • Secondary Rental Market Surveys (3 components)
    • Condo Apartment Vacancy Survey
      • A census of all apartment condos (some

exceptions where a sample of structures is


      • 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.


Other Surveys - 3

  • 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.


Other Surveys - 4

  • 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


Other Surveys - 5

  • 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.

Other Surveys - 6

  • 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.

Other Data Sources - 1

  • 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.

Other Data Sources - 2

  • 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.


  • 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.