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Construction crews build housing and community centres in Saskatoon, Sask., in this file photo.Liam Richards/The Canadian Press

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of housing starts rose in April, compared with March.

The agency estimated there were 17,124 actual starts in April.

Extrapolated over 12 months, that gives a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 194,809 units in April, an increase from 156,592 in March.

Urban starts increased to 176,792 units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

Multiple urban starts increased to 117,612 units while the single-detached urban starts segment increased to 59,180 units.

In April, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased in Ontario, the Prairies and Quebec and decreased in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says its new housing price index rose 0.2 per cent in March, following an identical increase in February.

The agency says the Calgary region was the top contributor to the gain, marking the third consecutive month it has led the way in Canada.

The region showed the largest monthly price gain, up 0.8 per cent over February.

New home prices in St. John's rose 0.3 per cent, the first increase since August.

Prices were down in Charlottetown, Victoria, Saskatoon, Ottawa–Gatineau and Vancouver.

They were unchanged in 11 of the 21 metropolitan areas surveyed

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