Despite early predictions that residential construction in Red Deer would pick up in 2012, local housing starts remain well behind last year’s pace.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported on Thursday that work began on 18 homes in the city during February, down 42 per cent from the 31 starts posted in the same month of 2011. So far this year the tally is 30, half of what it was during the first two months of 2011.
Housing starts this February consisted of work on 14 single-detached homes and four multi-family units, down from 18 and 13 respectively a year earlier. There have been 24 single-detached and six multi-family starts so far in 2012, as compared with 45 and 15 for the same period of 2011.
In its most recent housing market outlook, issued on Feb. 13, CMHC projected that residential construction starts in Red Deer would jump nearly 13 per cent this year — to 625 from 555 in 2011.
So far this year, the Calgary metropolitan area has enjoyed the greatest increase in housing starts among Alberta’s seven largest urban centres. Its two-month total is up 86 per cent from the January-February period of 2011.
Residential starts in the Edmonton metropolitan area are 38 per cent higher, Medicine Hat is up 36 per cent and Grande Prairie has improved by more than nine per cent.
Housing starts in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are down 25 per cent so far this year, and in Lethbridge the year-over-year decline is more that 57 per cent.