Housing Starts Boom in November: CMHC

Figures released Friday revealed that Canadian housing starts surged unexpectedly in November, driving a six-month trend to its highest point in almost 10 years, amid a continued condominium-building boom in Toronto,

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's data also said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of starts rose to 252,184 in November from October's downwardly revised 222,695. Economists had expected a decline to a 215,000 annual rate.

CHMC also said multiple urban starts, typically condos, jumped 16.9% to 175,016 units in November, while single-detached urban starts rose 7.5% to 60,396 units.

The lower-priced but flourishing condo market in Toronto, Canada's largest city, is expected to continue to thrive, with buyers discouraged by high prices for detached homes, the agency said.

Canada's lengthy housing boom has sparked fears of a bubble, but a foreign buyers tax, imposed in Toronto in April, dampened demand through the summer, particularly in the more expensive detached market. The condo market has seen strong demand, however, spurring groundbreaking on new units.