Housing starts remain strong

Multi-family home construction in Red Deer continues to push housing starts in the city ahead of last year’s pace.

Multi-family home construction in Red Deer continues to push housing starts in the city ahead of last year’s pace.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported this week that work on 34 multi-family units commenced in Red Deer last month, up from 14 for the same period in 2013. That brought the 2014 tally in the multi-family category to 434, as compared with 286 for the same 10-month period in 2013.

Meanwhile, starts on single-detached houses in the city are down slightly for the January-to-October period, to 318 from 323. That’s despite a year-over-year increase in single-detached starts for the month October, to 318 from 323.

Total housing starts for October was 72, up from 43 a year ago. And for the year to date the current year’s figure was 752 as of Oct. 31, as compared with 609 in 2013.

Ekaterina Kortava, a regional market analyst with CMHC, told the Advocate recently that multi-family construction in Red Deer was being driven by low vacancy rates in the rental market. Also encouraging this type of building were land constraints and the appeal of lower-priced homes to new buyers, she added.

Kortava said that as new rental buildings are completed, vacancy rates should rise and multi-family construction slow down.

Among Alberta’s seven largest urban centres, six recorded more housing starts in October than they did during the same month last year. The exception was Edmonton.

For the first 10 months of 2014, housing starts in both Edmonton and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo were down this year. The totals for Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie Medicine Hat and Lethbridge were all up.

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