Canada: Housing starts fall in April
May 9, 2011
The Canadian housing market shrank in April for a first time in three months. According to the government-owned Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), seasonally adjusted annualised housing starts fell to 179,000 units in April, down 3.1% from a revised 184,700 units in March (previously reported: 188,800 units). The reading disappointed market analysts who had expected housing starts to drop more moderately to 183,000 units in April. The lower result mainly reflected a decrease in rural starts as well as in multiple constructions. The monthly decline points to an overall moderation in housing starts, which began to trend downwards since April 2010 with starts seen at 205,600 units. Due to housing starts' sensitivity to changes in the business cycle, falling starts do not bode well for solid economic growth in the months ahead. The CMHC estimates housing starts will total 177,600 units in 2011 and 183,800 units in 2012.