* Oct starts fall to 207,600 units; higher than forecast
* Condominium growth supports market, single starts slip
By Claire Sibonney
TORONTO, Nov 8 Canadian housing starts slipped
in October, but came in higher than expectations, as low
interest rates and condominium building helped offset the
impact of negative global economic news.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) said on Tuesday
that starts slipped to seasonally adjusted annualized rate
207,600 units in October from an upwardly revised 208,800 units
The median forecast in a Reuters poll was for 195,000
starts in October.
"Broadly speaking, the Canadian economy remains ...
favorably situated relative to its global peers as headwinds on
the international front have intensified," Mazen Issa, Canada
macro strategist at TD Securities, said in a note to clients.
Those headwinds - such as Europe's escalating debt crisis,
sluggish global growth and market volatility - have further
pushed back expectations on the timing of the next increase in
the Bank of Canada's main policy rate, currently at 1 percent.
The central bank's accommodative policy stance may continue
to support the housing market, but Issa cautioned that tighter
mortgage rules, diminished household spending capacity, and
higher five-year mortgage rates will weigh.
CMHC also noted that overall housing starts are expected to
moderate in line with demographic fundamentals.
The data showed urban multiple housing starts, which
include condominiums, remained strong in October, while
weakness in single starts drove the slight decline in building
"Downshifting economic growth, recent declines in the value
of residential building permits, combined with a gradual
exhaustion of pent-up demand suggest that starts could soften
towards 190K-200K into 2012," CIBC economist Emanuella Enenajor
said in a note to clients.
"However, October's elevated housing construction print
suggests that homebuilding activity heading into Q4 still