The Globe and Mail, April 8, 2014 - Housing starts weighed in at a lowly 156,823 seasonally adjusted annualised rate in March, down sharply from a lower revised 190,639 unit February outturn. The March level was the weakest since January 2013. Read More The end of quarter slump reflected a near-19 percent nosedive urban starts within which multiples were off fully 25.5 percent at 87,372 units while singles fell 5.4 percent to 55,130 units. Regionally, rises in British Columbia and the Prairies were easily more than offset by falls in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec.
Rural starts were estimated at 14,321 units, a 4.9 percent decline versus their February level.
Until today's release the housing market had been holding up well. The March data may prove to be a one-off (the upcoming permits report will give a clue here) but until the April starts figure is made available, confidence in the outlook for the sector over the rest of the year will be rather more cautious.
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