Market Overview

Fair Weather a Friend to Housing Starts-BMO Economics

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 11, 2012) - Very favourable weather likely contributed to the 5.0 per cent jump in Canadian housing starts in March, according to Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

"Housing starts have now reached their highest level since October 2008," according to Mr. Kavcic. "Ontario was the major strong spot in the month, likely helped by unusually balmy weather. Multi-unit starts in the province had the strongest quarter since at least 1990; this was no doubt aided by construction-friendly weather, but also reflects the ongoing trend toward condo construction in the province - especially in Toronto. There's still no question that Toronto condos are the hot spot in Canadian homebuilding."

Mr. Kavcic noted that performance was mixed across the rest of the country. "We've seen declines in B.C. and Quebec, but a gain in Alberta. Alberta has now seen back-to-back monthly increases, with starts in this province hitting the highest level since March 2008, as the strong economy continues to gradually breathe life back into the housing market."

Katie Archdekin, Head of Mortgage Products, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that for those planning to buy a property over the coming months, making a responsible choice when it comes to how they plan to finance the purchase is an essential piece of the puzzle.

"At BMO, we've been encouraging Canadians to choose a mortgage that will allow them to save on interest costs and build equity in their home soon, and one way to do this is by choosing a shorter amortization period."

For more information on BMO's home financing solution, visit www.bmo.com/mortgages.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $538 billion as at January 31, 2012, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

 

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