Housing starts drop in Atlantic Canada, says CMHC

On Wednesday, the Crown corporation reported April’s seasonally adjusted annual rates of urban starts decreased in Atlantic Canada (40.8 per cent), Ontario (14.9 per cent) and British Columbia (5.6 per cent). Urban starts increased in Quebec (14.8 per cent) and the Prairies (9.3 per cent).

On a monthly basis, housing starts were trending nationally at 182,754 units in April compared to 188,369 in March. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

“As expected, the trend in total housing starts continued to moderate in April. As a result, it drew closer to its historical average and is in-line with estimates of household formation,” said Mathieu Laberge, CMHC deputy chief economist. “Recent moderation in total housing starts has been led by the multiple starts segment, particularly in Ontario.”

The slowdown in housing starts correlates with the tightening of home mortgage rules in summer 2012, and should help, argue some analysts, protect property values for investors as well as homeowners.

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