National Post (Latest Edition)

WARM WEATHER IN MARCH HELPS BOOST HOUSING STARTS

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Canadian housing starts rose 21.6 per cent in March compared with the previous month, easily beating expectatio­ns and hitting a record, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Monday. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 335,200 units in March, well ahead of analyst expectatio­ns for 250,000 units, and a new high for all months on record. Much of the gain was on multiple urban starts, which jumped 33.8 per cent to 222,358 units. Single-detached urban starts rose 3.6 per cent to 78,615 units. “The big accelerati­on came as weather was unseasonab­ly warm in many parts of the country,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC Economics. Mendes added that new home constructi­on will likely be a major contributo­r to overall GDP growth again in 2021, even as building activity cools off.

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