By Paul Vieira

OTTAWA--Canadian housing starts increased 10.6% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 207,041 units in December, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Tuesday.

That beat market expectations, which were for housing starts to rise in December to an annual rate of 191,000, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.

Some economists said prior to the data release there was a chance of an upside surprise in the December report, arguing a surge of approved permits for both single and multiple housing units over the late summer and early fall period had yet to translate into construction work.

CIBC World Markets said the strong housing-starts result marks another positive reading on the Canadian economy, after figures released last week indicated continued employment gains in December, and the first trade surplus in over two years for November.

CMHC's December report said urban housing starts increased 11.8% to 187,621 units. Multiunit urban starts, which includes condominiums, rose 13.9% to 120,750 units, while single-detached starts in urban centers rose 8.1% to 66,871.

Rural starts were estimated at 19,420 units.

Write to Paul Vieira at paul.vieira@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2017 09:01 ET (14:01 GMT)

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