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Canada Housing Starts Drop 8.7% in October

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11/08/2019 | 09:10am EST

By Kim Mackrael

OTTAWA--Canadian housing starts declined in October, falling short of economist expectations, on a drop in construction of multifamily units.

Housing starts for October came in at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 201,973 units, down 8.7% from a revised 221,135 units in the previous month, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Friday. Market expectations were for annualized starts to come in at 225,000, according to economists at TD Bank.

The trend measure, or a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts, was 218,598 units in October, or a decrease from 223,276 units in the previous month.

"After a couple of solid months of home building activity, the pace of housing starts subsided modestly in October," CIBC World Markets economist Katherine Judge said. While the result was below market expectations, she said, most of the weakness was contained in the multiple urban starts category, which can be volatile.

The report said urban starts decreased by 9% in October to 189,304 units. Multiple urban starts declined by 12.5% to 139,518 units, while single-detached urban starts increased by 2.4% to 49,786 units. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,669 units.

Write to Kim Mackrael at kim.mackrael@wsj.com

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