September housing starts inch higher: CMHC

Wed Oct 8, 2008 9:13am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - New home construction in Canada inched higher in September to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 217,600 units from an upwardly revised 217,400 units in August, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said on Wednesday.

The September number beat the consensus expectation of analysts who had called for 203,000 starts. August starts were originally reported at 211,000 units.

Urban single home starts declined 8.1 percent to 70,000 units from 76,200, while urban multiple starts rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 122,500 units from 116,100 in August.

"Housing starts remained at a high level in September, with construction activity again staying above the 200,000 unit threshold." said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist.

Canadian housing data has been in stark contrast with the state of the housing market in the United States, hit by a crisis that began in the subprime mortgage sector and spread across other parts of the market and the broader economy.

Experts have said the Canadian housing sector will ease, but not slump.

Rural starts were estimated at an unchanged seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,100 units in September.

(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by James Dalgleish)