The pace of housing starts was slower in January according to new figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The trend measure was 199,169 in January 2016 compared to 203,304 in December 2015; the seasonally-adjusted annual rate was down to 165,861 from 172,533. Urban SAAR was down 3 per cent; multiple urban SAAR was down 5.3 per cent; single-detached urban SAAR was up 1 per cent.

“Housing starts trended down across the country with the exception of Ontario,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “The overall decline is mostly attributable to a slowdown in the Prairies where the housing starts trend was at a 4-year low in January. The slowdown in new housing activity coincides with an unemployment rate that is at a 5-year high in Alberta”.

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