Home construction stalls despite population boom

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It is a bit of a mystery as to why Canada’s housing market has slowed down drastically at a time when its population is booming.

Housing starts in Canada have fallen steeply in recent months as the country’s developers react to a slowdown in sales brought on by rising interest rates, tough new mortgage rules and historically poor levels of home affordability.

The number of new housing starts fell to an annual rate of 188,700 in September, according to data released Tuesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. That’s the lowest in nearly two years and a drop of 23 per cent since June, when the country clocked a rate of 245,000 housing starts, annualized.

The decline was led by steep drops in British Columbia and Alberta, where home construction starts have dropped by 43.3 per cent and 34.8 per cent, respectively. Central Canada bucked the trend, with housing starts up 21.3 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively.

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While home sales are falling given the tougher mortgage rules, there is growing demand for rental units as would-be buyers are renting longer than ever. -CINEWS

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