Housing starts gap narrowing

The gap between the pace of housing starts in 2009 versus 2008 continues to narrow.

The gap between the pace of housing starts in 2009 versus 2008 continues to narrow.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported on Monday work began on 69 new homes in the city last month. That’s up from 42 last October. It’s the fifth consecutive month that residential construction activity has exceeded that from the same period in 2008.

After lagging far behind the 2008 tally to start the year, total housing starts in Red Deer number 414 after 10 months, 12 per cent behind last year’s pace, when work had started on 468 homes in the city.

In the case of single-detached projects, the difference is down to six per cent, with 280 starts this year as compared with 298 in 2008.

There were 53 starts on single-detached houses in Red Deer during the most recent month, up 26 per cent from October 2008, when the figure was 42. In the case of multi-family units, work started on 16 last month, while in October 2008 there was none.

Looking at Alberta’s seven largest urban areas, only Lethbridge had a smaller year-over-year decline in housing starts than Red Deer. The 10-month tally for the Southern Alberta city was down seven per cent this year.

The Edmonton metropolitan area was 24 per cent lower, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was down 34 per cent, Grande Prairie slid 41 per cent, the Calgary metropolitan area declined 54 per cent and Medicine Hat was off 53 per cent from 2008.

Despite its rebound as compared with last year, Red Deer’s 2009 housing start total remains well behind the record pace of 2007. That year, work on 1,358 homes had begun by the end of October: 873 single-detached homes and 485 multi-family units.

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