Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Canada May Housing Stats Rise - lead by multifamily units.

Canadian housing starts rose in May for the third time in four months, led by multiple-unit dwellings, according to government figures.

Work began on 183,600 units at an annual rate on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 2.7 percent from a revised April figure of 178,700, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said today in Ottawa. Economists forecast a reading of 182,000, according to the median of 21 responses in a Bloomberg News survey.

The number of urban homes such as condominiums and apartments rose 4 percent to 100,000 in May. Single-family projects in cities fell 4.1 percent to 61,000 units, the lowest since August 2009. Rural projects were estimated at a 22,600 unit pace.

Housing starts will decline 5.5 percent this year in part because of tighter mortgage regulations, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. said in a May 30 forecast. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in March shortened the maximum amortization period for government-insured mortgages to 30 years from 35 years and lowered the maximum amount homeowners can borrow against the value of their homes, citing concern that Canadians were taking on record debt burdens.

To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Quinn in Ottawa at gquinn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.

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