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Canada enjoys boost in housebuilding

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Canadian housing starts have increased, official data has shown

National agency the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said a seasonally adjusted annualised rate of 193,637 housing units began last month.

This was up 5 per cent from August and made September the third best month for housebuilding this year.

Housing starts in rural areas grew 17 per cent in September to an SAAR of 16,397.

Meanwhile, those in urban areas grew 4 per cent to 177,240. And this despite a fall of 15 per cent in starts in cities in housing hotbed Ontario.

Urban starts were up in the Atlantic region by almost a third; in the Prairies region by nearly a quarter; and in British Columbia by almost a fifth. A small rise was also seen in Quebec.

The rate of starts across Canada hit a peak in May, with a figure revised to 199,721.

This means the SAAR of housebuilding has yet to hit 200,000 in 2013 despite being above that watermark in 10 of 12 months last year.

Meanwhile the six-month moving average of starts was up to 190,492 units in September.

Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC, said: ‘The trend in total housing starts edged up slightly in September.

‘This recent moderate gain is consistent with sales of existing homes, which have trended higher since February 2013. The trend in the new home market typically lags the trend in the existing home market’ Laberge said.

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