Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to raise the subject of housing starts in this House.
Increased interest rates had no negative impact whatsoever on housing starts in April. In fact, the residential construction sector was given a boost by a more positive employment situation, increased consumer confidence and a steady resale market. The month of April ended with positive results for builders across the country.
Total housing starts nation-wide, on a net basis, increased by 5.9 per cent, rising from 149,000 units in March to 158,000 last month. Housing starts for individual homes have reached their highest level in 16 months, totalling 75,000 homes in April, an increase of 19.3 per cent over the 63,000 reported in March.