Housing starts up 24 per cent over last year

Construction starts on single-detached homes in Red Deer last month were up 14 per cent from July 2012, to 32 from 28, according to the latest stats from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. However, work commenced on just four units in the multi-family category, marking an 81 per cent drop from the 21 multi-family starts for the same month a year ago.

Construction starts on single-detached homes in Red Deer last month were up 14 per cent from July 2012, to 32 from 28, according to the latest stats from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. However, work commenced on just four units in the multi-family category, marking an 81 per cent drop from the 21 multi-family starts for the same month a year ago.

The 36 total starts in July compared with 50 in June, with the latter figure made up of 36 single-detached homes and 14 multi-family projects.

So far this year, local builders have combined for 450 residential housing starts, a 24 per cent jump from the 363 accumulated during the first seven months of 2012. Single-detached homes have made up 232 of this year’s total, up from 192; while multi-family projects have contributed 218, as compared with 171 to the same point last year.

Alberta urban centres with 10,000 or more people combined for 2,843 housing starts in July, down from 2,860 for the same month in 2012. The number of single-detached dwellings slipped 13 per cent, to 1,393 from 1,595; while multi-family starts increased by 15 per cent, to 1,450 from 1,265.

For the year to date, housing starts in these communities total 19,032, up eight per cent from 17,590 for the same seven months of 2012. Single-detached starts improved by six per cent, to 9,129 from 8,568; while multi-family starts climbed 10 per cent, to 9,903 from 9,022.

Nationally, July housing starts remained relatively stable, said CMHC. It estimated that there were 17,993 actual starts in July which, extrapolated over 12 months, gave a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 192,853 starts.

That was slightly down from June’s adjusted annual rate of 193,797 starts.

The agency said the annual rate of urban starts across Canada decreased by 2.1 per cent in July to 173,042 units, as both single and multiple urban starts declined.

Single urban starts decreased by 5.5 per cent to 58,731 units on an annual basis in July while the multiple urban starts segment essentially held steady at 114,311 units.

July’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts rose in British Columbia and decreased in all other regions, including Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies.