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Canada sees growth in property construction

The housing market in Canada took a surprising change in reports issued on Monday. Housing starts there grew unexpectedly. New construction within the country also rose by 15.4 per cent in the month of February, which is seasonally adjusted at an annualized rate of 256,900 units.

In Canada's housing starts market, the condominium sector saw the best growth. Analysts had expected about 202,000 starts.

While this news is good, and once again shows the difference between the United States and the Canadian housing markets, forecasters still expect the housing market here to cool and to become moderate in the months to come.

As reported by Reuters, CMHC Chief Economist Bob Dugan said, "Despite this sizable growth in February, we continue to expect that the trend in housing starts will decrease gradually between now and the end of 2008."

One area that is doing particularly well is Calgary's multifamily sector. Figures released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows that new construction in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area grew 19.8% to 877 units, up from 732 units at the start of February. This includes semidetached units, multifamily units, rows and apartments.