(Source: CBC News)

Canada’s housing starts rose in March, a sign that builders have begun putting more stakes in the ground, according to new statistics released Wednesday.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said starts increased by 13.7 per cent, or 154,700 new units when one-month figures are stretched over a full year.

The increase is a welcome bit of news for a sector hammered by a global credit crunch and a domestic economic slowdown.

“While the multiples segment experienced the largest increase, the overall boost in starts was broad based, encompassing the singles segment as well,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre.

Building in Canadian cities and towns with populations in excess of 10,000 jumped by 17 per cent, with construction of multiple units — essentially apartment buildings and condominiums — posting a 28 per cent gain.

Single unit starts, a stronger indicator of consumer housing demand, rose by only 1.3 per cent in March.

Still, CMHC said the trend is good news for overall home building.

“New home construction is now at a more sustainable level after having been exceptionally strong over the past seven years, exceeding 200,000 units per year,” the national housing agency said in a commentary.

Read the full article “Canadian housing starts jump in March” in CBC News (April 8, 2009).

Find some of the information a bit askew? Dig some further research from the CMHC where you can find Housing Starts (ACTUAL, and not “adjusted”).

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