Canadian housing starts surprise economists, rise 1.9% in August

FILE PHOTO: A real estate assembly of houses marked for demolition stand next to a billboard advertising a future condominium to stand in their place, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian housing starts unexpectedly rose in August compared with the previous month as groundbreaking increased on single detached urban homes, data from the national housing agency showed on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 226,639 units from a revised 222,467 in July, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said. Economists had expected starts to fall to 215,000 units.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Peter Graff