Housing starts still closing gap

With 2009 nearing an end, the number of construction starts on single-detached homes in Red Deer this year continues to inch toward the 2008 tally.

With 2009 nearing an end, the number of construction starts on single-detached homes in Red Deer this year continues to inch toward the 2008 tally.

Work began on 31 single-detached houses in the city last month, reports Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. That’s four more than in November 2008, and brings the year-to-date tally to 311 — as compared with the 11-month total of 325 in 2008.

The year-over-year gap is greater when it comes to construction starts on multi-family units, according to CMHC’s statistics. As of Nov. 30, the count was 162 — 21 per cent behind last year’s pace of 205.

In November, starts on multi-family units in Red Deer numbered 28, down from 35 a year ago.

Among Alberta’s seven largest urban centres, Red Deer has experienced the second lowest drop in housing starts from 2008 to 2009, at 11 per cent. Medicine Hat is down 52 per cent so far this year, the Calgary metropolitan area has fallen 49 per cent, Grande Prairie is off 42 per cent, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo dropped 29 per cent and the Edmonton metropolitan area slid 13 per cent.

Lethbridge had the smallest decline, six per cent.

In the month of November alone, combined housing starts in these centres were 71 per cent higher in 2009 than for the same period last year.

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