Jobs 20130809

Housing starts increased in April from a historically low level in March. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

New home construction picked up the pace in April as a rebound in the multiple home segment which includes condos pushed the total number higher.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said  there were 17,124 housing 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.

A housing start is the preliminary construction work done on what may one day be a new house or condo. The figure is seen as a leading indicator of the economy because it leads to more work later, as well as spillover economic benefits of the constructed home.

By region, the annual rate of housing starts increased in Ontario, the Prairies and Quebec and decreased in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.