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MNI DATA IMPACT:Canada March Hsing Starts Rebound to 193k SAAR

By Courtney Tower
     OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the March data on
Canadian housing starts released Monday by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation:
     - Canadian housing starts rebounded to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
192,527 in March, in line with the market consensus. February estimate was
revised down to 166,290. Starts for the first quarter this year averaged 193,489
versus 215,928 in the fourth quarter last year.
      - The six-month trend edged up to 202,279 units in March 2019 from 202,039
in February.
     - In the two major metropolitan areas which have seen the greatest increase
in house prices and subsequent recent decreases in starts, Vancouver and
Toronto, the March starts differed widely:
     - In Vancouver starts fell to 20,960 in March, from 25,022 in February and
25,353 in January. Starts in the first quarter this year are down 16% from the
same quarter a year ago, CMHC said. For Toronto, starts rose to 32,200, from
20,167 in February but were down from the 39,138 in January. 
     - Overall, for March, the SAAR of urban starts increased by 17.0% to
178,033 units. Multiple urban starts were up 18.6% to 135,894 units. Single
detached starts rose by 12.1% to 42,139 units. Rural starts were estimated at
14,494 units. Demand for new urban homes has moderated under higher mortgage
rates "combined with still-favorable but less stimulative economic conditions,"
said CMHC Chief Economist Bob Dugan.
--MNI Ottawa Bureau; +1 613 869-0916; email: yali.ndiaye@marketnews.com

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