Canada Releases Housing Data Early After Errant Draft Posted

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Canada’s housing agency published its monthly housing starts report a day ahead of schedule after a draft version was accidentally published online.

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. published the August figure at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday from Ottawa, instead of the scheduled release time of 8:15 a.m. on Friday.

The draft “was inadvertently published to the CMHC website on Sept 7th, two days before the scheduled release of the final information,” spokeswoman Karine LeBlanc said by e-mail. “The web page was taken down within 20 minutes, however in the interest of transparency CMHC is publishing its August housing starts data one day earlier than scheduled.”

Thursday’s report said the seasonally adjusted annual pace of starts fell 6.1 percent to 182,703 units in August from July. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News economist survey was for 190,000 units.

The draft received five unique views on the housing agency’s website Wednesday before it was removed, LeBlanc said by phone.