Canadian Housing Starts Post First Decline in Three Months

Canadian housing starts declined for the first time in three months in July, led by multiple-unit projects.

The annual pace of starts fell 4.6 percent from June to 193,032 units, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said Tuesday from Ottawa. Multiple-unit starts in urban areas declined 8.2 percent to 119,478, and single-family dwellings fell 0.8 percent to 57,520 units.

The rate of home construction remains above a low of 151,387 set in February, fueled by job gains and some of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. The resilience of the market in a year when exports and business spending have been roiled by an oil shock suggests renewed increases are possible in the next few months, according to David Tulk, chief Canada macro strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Securities unit.

“The housing market continues to stand out as a pillar of strength for the Canadian economy amid a very low interest rate environment,” Tulk wrote in a research note. “We see further momentum in both sales and construction through the second half of the year.”

Economists forecast a July total of 195,000 according to the median of 16 responses to a Bloomberg survey.

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