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A view of condo projects in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, April 09, 2008.
A view of condo projects in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, April 09, 2008.
(Chris Bolin For The Globe and Mail)

As market re-ignites, CMHC aims to slow condo investors

Canada’s housing market is like a brush fire. Just when you think you have it under control, the wind blows and it sparks up again. But regulators may have picked up the right tool to put out what’s left of the blaze.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported Thursday morning that housing starts surged to an annualized rate of 195,000 units (seasonally adjusted) in April, up 25 per cent from March. After spending several months in a retreat (from north of 200,000 to March’s 157,000) that experts generally considered overdue and quite healthy, we’re suddenly right back up where we started – at levels above the pace of new-household formation, and, therefore, unsustainable. And yet it goes on.