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Housing sales, starts head in different directions

 
Housing sales in Canada have plunged reports the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) while starts of new homes have ramped up 13 per cent from a year ago, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
 In April, housing starts were trending at seasonally adjusted rate of 213,768 and actual April starts reached 16,324 units, including 5,308 detached houses, with total starts up 13 per cent from the same month a year earlier.
Meanwhile, sales of existing homes fell 6.2 per cent in May from April, the biggest monthly decline in five years, CREA reports.
Much of the downturn is blamed on a 25.3 per cent plunge in Greater Toronto sales, which CREA said is linked to Ontario housing policy changes, including a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers.
Despite the resale slump, housing starts in Canada have exceeded a seasonally adjusted pace of more than 200,000 units for five straight months as of April, said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.




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