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Housing starts on a decline

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The number of houses that commenced construction dropped on a monthly basis in February, according to the latest report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Over the month, the trend in housing starts was at 208,525 units, down from 211,153 units recorded in January. The decline was driven by the weakness in the multi-unit segment.

“Single and multi-unit starts in Toronto both trended lower, while activity in Montréal declined due to lower-trending multi-unit starts. This offset a slight up-tick in Vancouver, which follows four consecutive declines in that census metropolitan area,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

On a standalone basis, housing commencements hit 210,069 units, representing a 1.9% drop from 214,031 units in January.

The SAAR in urban areas also declined by 1.9% in the month.

In terms of housing type, starts declined by 6.1% for multi-units and increased by 11.9% in the single-detached segment.

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