Loonie Falls Despite Surge in April Housing Starts To Fastest Pace Since 2007
Housing starts in Canada unexpectedly accelerated in April for the fifth straight month to its fastest pace since September 2007. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported a large jump to 244,900 housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual pace in April, while March’s figure was revised slightly downwards to 215,200 from 215,600 originally reported. The median forecast of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had called for a slowdown to 204,000 housing starts in April. New starts soared by 28.8 percent in April from a year ago, compared with March’s year-on-year rate of 16.7 percent.
The pickup in housing starts in April was led by a surge in multi-family homes in urban areas, which recorded a 27.4 percent gain to 158,500 new starts. Meanwhile, housing starts in rural areas contracted by 19.0 percent from a month ago, reversing the 10 percent gain in March.
April's housing starts data follows yesterday’s news that the number of residential building permits approved had declined by 1.3 percent in March. This could indicate that we may see slight moderation in the coming months in the recent strength shown by the Canadian housing market, in what some analysts think is a housing bubble.
USDCAD 1-minute Chart: May 8, 2012
Chart created using Strategy Trader – Prepared by Tzu-Wen Chen
Despite the stronger-than-expected print, the Canadian dollar tumbled against the U.S. dollar in the minutes following the data release. The loonie fell as much as 20 pips in the first 15 minutes from pre-announcement levels, and despite a slight retracement, continued to trade weaker at C$0.9972 against the greenback at the time of this report.
--- Written by Tzu-Wen Chen, DailyFX Research
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