Housing starts climbed in June, driven by Quebec and British Columbia, but were probably too little and too late to prevent a construction slowdown, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts rose to 222,700 units in June, compared to the 217,400 units logged in May.
The climb runs counter to expectations, given the government announcement in late June that it would tighten conditions for both homebuyers and mortgage lenders to slow the market and prevent a bubble.
That collective action is still likely to cool construction, but not in the near-term, said one economist Tuesday.
"Today's starts … confirmed that homebuilding is showing no signs of cooling off yet," CIBC World Markets economist Emanuella Enenajor said. "Today's data suggest homebuilding could be a contributor to growth in the second quarter, and the current low rate environment is continuing to support already elevated housing construction activity, namely in the condo/multi-family segment."