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Life After Oil Makes Real Estate Canada's New Economic Crutch

  • Housing fuels everything from lawyer fees to state revenue
  • Banks pivot their business lending to real-estate operators
Condominium buildings stand under construction along Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Photographer: Mark Sommerfeld/Bloomberg

Two things happened last week that were a reminder of just how vital real estate has become to Canada’s economy.

On Friday, Statistics Canada released gross domestic product data that showed February was a banner month for sectors linked to housing. The real estate industry, residential construction, financial and legal services generated a combined 0.5 percent increase in output, the biggest one-month gain since 2014. Without those, the overall economy would have contracted slightly in February.