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Canadians see slight gains in starts

Canada's seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts increased slightly to 184,028 in March, up from 183,207 in February.

Looking at the six-month moving average, as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMCH) likes to do, the figure of 189,742 units is about average.

"As expected, the trend in total housing starts continued to moderate in March. Builders are adjusting to lower housing demand and as a result, completed and unoccupied units per capita remain relatively close to their historical average," said Mathieu Laberge, deputy chief economist at CMHC. 

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of the housing market. In some situations, analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading in some markets, as they are largely driven by the multiples segment of the markets, which can be quite volatile from one month to the next.


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