Canada Housing Starts Slow to Weakest Since March Amid Oil Rout

Builders began construction on the lowest number of homes in Canada in 10 months amid a collapse in crude prices.

The pace of housing starts declined to 180,560 units last month, the lowest since March and down 6.5 percent from November, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said in a statement today. The figure refers to the housing agency’s seasonally adjusted annual rate. Economists had been expecting a rate of 192,000 units, according to the median of a Bloomberg survey with 15 estimates.

The pace of urban construction in the Prairies, including oil-rich Alberta, dropped 10 percent to 41,528 units, while the rate in Quebec fell 18 percent to 29,760, according to CMHC.

Crude prices have plunged 55 percent since June, the steepest drop since the global financial crisis.

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