Activity in Red Deer’s residential construction sector could be waning, after a third consecutive month in which 2010 housing starts were down from 2009.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported on Thursday that work began on 36 homes in the city last month: 23 single-detached houses and 13 units in multi-family projects. That’s down 43 per cent from August 2009, when there were 43 single-detached starts and 20 multi-family starts for a total of 63.
In July, Red Deer recorded 42 housing starts, one fewer than in July 2009. And in June, the tally was 46, as compared with 65 the previous year.
Despite these year-over-year declines, total housing starts in Red Deer so far this year remain 64 per cent ahead of the 2009 tally to the same point. As of Aug. 31, work had started on 435 homes: 266 single-detached and 169 multi-family. That compares with 266 during the first eight months of 2009, including 190 single-detached and 76 multi-family.
Among the seven largest urban centres in the province, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie all posted big declines in the number of housing starts recorded this August. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was up slightly and Medicine Hat, Calgary and Edmonton all had sizable jumps in residential construction starts last month.
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts in August decreased three per cent from 12 months earlier, said CMHC.
“Housing starts moved lower in August, reflecting a decrease in both single and multiple starts,” said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s market analysis centre.