Canadian housing starts fell in October as both single and multiple urban starts slumped, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Thursday in a report that confirms further slowing in the country's once-booming housing market.
The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts was 204,107 units in October, down from 223,995 in September and 18.9 percent below the cyclical peak of 251,802 reached in April.
The slowdown was sharper than expected. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast starts would decline to 211,500 in October. The September figure was revised up from the 220,215 units reported previously.
"The monthly decrease in total housing starts posted in October was mostly due to a decrease in both single and multiple starts in urban centers in Quebec and the Prairies," Mathieu Laberge, CMHC deputy chief economist, said in a statement.
"Multiple starts also declined in many urban centers in Ontario, more than offsetting an increase in such starts in Toronto," he added.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts fell 10.1 percent to 182,134 units in October. Urban singles starts decreased 7.6 percent to 62,402 units, while multiple urban starts dropped 11.4 percent to 119,732 units.
October starts decreased in all regions, declining by 1.5 percent in British Columbia, 6.4 percent in Ontario, 12.3 percent in the Prairies, 16.8 percent in Atlantic Canada and 16.9 percent in Quebec.