Housing starts continue to outpace 2013

New home construction in Red Deer continues to exceed 2013 levels, with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reporting that there were 50 housing starts in the city last month — up from 36 in July 2013. Starts on single-detached homes numbered 36, with units in multi-family projects adding another 14. Last year, the tallies for July were 32 and four respectively.

New home construction in Red Deer continues to exceed 2013 levels, with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reporting that there were 50 housing starts in the city last month — up from 36 in July 2013.

Starts on single-detached homes numbered 36, with units in multi-family projects adding another 14. Last year, the tallies for July were 32 and four respectively.

Red Deer builders had combined for 521 total housing starts to the end of July in 2014 — with 222 of these in the single-family category and 299 in multi-family projects. A year ago, the tally was 450, including 232 single-detached and 218 of the multi-family variety.

Total housing starts among Alberta’s seven largest urban centres during the first seven months of this year are up nearly 10 per cent from the same point in 2013 — to 21,105 from 19,223. The pace of construction has quickened in Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, but is down in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Nationally, some economists are warning that the surge in the number of new homes being built in Canada is unsustainable and could approach “worrying” levels if interest rates remain at the current level. That follows CMHC’s report on Monday that housing starts increased to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 200,098 in July — a slight increase from 198,665 in June. Gains in urban starts were concentrated in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, with the Prairie provinces and Quebec recording declines and a modest decrease in British Columbia.

July’s results mark the fifth consecutive monthly increase in new housing construction.

According to analysis from TD Economics, builders are taking cues from the current housing market, which is riding high on lower interest rates and solid growth in resale prices.

“This level of activity is unsustainable over the near term, on account of an already moderate level of overbuilding as well as the likely gradual increase in interest rates,” says TD economist Jonathan Bendiner.

The Bank of Canada’s overnight rate has been set at one per cent since September 2010.

Bendiner forecasts that the pace of housing starts will work its way downward to the 175,000 to 180,000 unit range through 2015.

The results coincide with Statistics Canada’s report last week that a paltry 200 jobs were added to the economy last month, raising questions as to what’s really driving the demand for new housing.

Demand for housing is strong among the 25 to 35-year-old demographic, counters BMO senior economist Benjamin Reitzes.

Young people are increasingly moving to provinces that offer better prospects for employment, driving up demand for housing in a few key provinces, he adds.

However, if building continues at the current pace, it might be difficult to absorb all the units that are currently under construction, says Reitzes.

“We’re not quite at that worrying stage yet but it’s something to keep an eye on.”

With files from The Canadian Press.

Just Posted

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

Tips to keep crime at bay this Christmas

’Tis the season for joy and celebration, but the Christmas season can… Continue reading

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Tkachuk’s goal in 3rd gives Flames 2-1 win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matthew Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal midway through… Continue reading

Women use scent to lure wolf-dog that ran away from Calgary airport

EDMONTON — A woman from Alberta is thanking an unconventional strategy for… Continue reading

Suspect in Alberta, Saskatchewan bank robberies to get mental assessment

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former Winnipeg broadcaster and journalism instructor accused… Continue reading

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $60 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $60 million jackpot… Continue reading

All evacuation orders lifted in deadly California wildfire

PARADISE, Calif. — All evacuation orders have been lifted in Paradise more… Continue reading

All aflutter about our feathered friends

Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 23

Baylor ties pervade rape case that sparked uproar

DALLAS — The Texas judge who approved a plea deal allowing a… Continue reading

Most Read