UPDATE 2-Canada April housing starts edge up, condos strong

* April starts 201,700 vs forecast of 205,000

* March revised slightly higher to 199.2 K

* Multiples soar 27.2 pct, single homes down 12.7 pct
(Adds details, commentary, updates currency)

By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO, May 10 (BestGrowthStock) – Canadian housing starts inched
up 1.3 percent in April, offering further evidence that
recovery in the housing sector is a major component of Canada’s
economic recovery.

New home construction rose to a seasonally adjusted
annualized rate of 201,700 units in the month from a revised
199,200 in March, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp figures
showed on Monday.

The April number, however, came in below the average
forecast of analysts, who had called for 205,000 starts. The
March number was revised up from an originally reported 197,300
units.

“This was only the second time that the pace of housing
starts has breached the 200 K-units barrier since November
2008,” Millan Mulraine, a senior strategist at TD Securities,
said in a note.

The Canadian dollar pulled back slightly after the data was
released, but at C$1.0236 to the U.S. dollar, or 97.69 U.S.
cents, it was still about 2 percent higher than Friday’s close,
surging on the back of a European rescue deal.
[CAD/][ID:nLDE6491OL]

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose
5.1 percent to 182,500 units as a big jump in the volatile
multidwelling group offset a retreat in single-family homes.

The multidwelling group, which includes high-rise condos,
climbed 27.2 percent to 98,600 units. Starts in the closely
watched single-family component dropped 12.7 percent to 83,900,
breaking an 11-month streak of gains.

Market players continue to forecast that home sales will
slow in the second half of the year after a spring burst of
activity due to higher interest rates, new mortgage rules and
the introduction of harmonized sales tax (HST) regimes in
Ontario and British Columbia. [ID:nN18184642] [ID:nN15137487]

“While we are looking for further improvement in home
construction across Canada through the spring months, we are
more uncertain about the late summer, early fall as demand
starts to retrench in the new home market in reaction to the
introduction of the HST and higher borrowing costs,” Scotia
Capital economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods said in a
commentary.

Housing starts went up in most parts of the country in
April, led by British Columbia, up 16.4 percent. Starts were up
6.7 percent in the Prairie region, 4.5 percent in Ontario, and
1.1 percent in Quebec. Urban starts fell 3.3 percent in the
Atlantic provinces.

Rural starts in April were estimated at an annual rate of
19,200.
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(Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio and
Peter Galloway)

UPDATE 2-Canada April housing starts edge up, condos strong