Bloomberg News

Canada June Housing Starts Unexpectedly Rise on Multiples

July 10, 2012

Canadian housing starts rose in June, an unexpected gain led by work on multiple-unit projects in British Columbia and Quebec, government figures showed.

Construction of new homes rose 2.4 percent to a 222,700 seasonally adjusted annual pace, Ottawa-based Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said today, exceeding all 21 responses in a Bloomberg News survey that had a median forecast of 205,000. The agency also boosted its May estimate to 217,400 from an initial reading of 211,400.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage regulations for a fourth time last month on concerns that some families were taking on debts that will become unaffordable when borrowing costs increase. The pace of housing starts has almost doubled from the low of 111,800 units in 2009 during the last recession, and starts in the April-June period were the strongest since the third quarter of 2007.

“Homebuilding is showing no signs of cooling off yet,” said Emanuella Enenajor, an economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto, in a note to clients.

Canada’s dollar was little changed at C$1.0189 per U.S. dollar at 8:49 a.m. in Toronto, after gaining as much as 0.2 percent. One Canadian dollar buys 98.15 U.S. cents.

Multiple-unit starts in urban areas rose 4.1 percent to 132,000 units. Single-family starts fell 0.3 percent to a pace of 67,500 units.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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