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National Bank Financial’s analysis team noted that the housing starts data from Canada came in better than the market expectation for the second straight month in April.

Key quotes

“Starts trended to their highest level in over 10 months. This was another welcome development after groundbreakings in February dropped to an almost 3 year low. The improvement in April was due to both multi and single-detached urban starts. Multiple urban starts were the largest contribution to the monthly increase and reached their highest level ever recorded.”

“Specifically, the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia were the greater share of the jump in the multi category. Drilling down further, there was a substantial surge in Vancouver, a slightly surprising situation given challenging market conditions in that city.”

“That said, there are a slew of factors helping boost builder’s confidence on a city, province and national level such as financing costs which have gotten cheaper and the promise of measures by the federal government to address affordability. Looking at the quarterly perspective, after one month of data, housing starts in Canada are set to increase in Q2 after having declined in the first quarter of the year. All in all, this latest report supports that starts should average more than 190K this year.”