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Canadian housing starts fall

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A large drop in activity in the cities of Ontario has seen Canada’s rate of housing starts fall

National agency the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported that the seasonally adjusted annualised rate of housing starts was at 192,235 in November.

This was down 3 per cent from the previous month, and brought the closely-watched trend figure – a moving average of the last six months – down marginally with it.

Ontario was by far the biggest culprit, with 11,291 fewer residential starts in its urban centres in November. There was a slight fall in the much less populated Atlantic region.

Increased numbers of urban housing starts in the Prairies, British Columbia and Quebec failed to make up for the deficits elsewhere.

Rural starts were effectively flat on the previous month at 20,888 in November.

Both single detached homes and dwellings in larger projects were down slightly last month.

CMHC deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge said: ‘The trend in housing starts has increased slightly since July, before stabilising in November.

‘Overall, housing starts have been following a trend similar to sales on the existing home market. As sales rise relative to listings of existing homes, buyers are increasingly meeting their needs in the new home market.’

The CMHC recently predicted a surge in housebuilding in South-West Canada next year.

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