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Canada Housing March 2019

Canada: Housing starts rebound in March

Housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted annualized (SAAR) basis climbed to 192,527 units in March, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). March’s reading was up from a downwardly revised 166,290-unit print in February (previously reported: 173,153), driven by an increase in both multiple and single-detached urban starts. However, the reading fell short of analysts’ expectations of 196,500.

Meanwhile, the six-month moving average of housing starts on a SAAR basis ticked up marginally to 202,279 in March from 202,039 units in February.

Providing a short-term outlook on Canada’s housing starts, Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Economics, noted:

“We expect the pace of homebuilding to pick up slightly in the near-term, buoyed by ultra-strong population growth, low rental vacancy rates in key markets, and past gains in pre-construction sales. Our expectation is consistent with permits, which remain healthy despite the decline in February”.

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