Posted: February 8, 2012
Driven largely by the boom in multi-family construction, housing starts in the Regina area reached 277 units in January, more than double the 127 starts during the same period last year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said in its monthly survey of residential construction Wednesday,”
“It’s the strongest start to the year since 1982,’’ said Michael Fabiyi, CMHC’s senior market analyst in Saskatchewan. “It sets us up quite nicely and fits into (CMHC’s) expectations for the year.”
CMHC is forecasting an increase in multiple-unit housing starts in 2012 following a strong year in 2011. “Last year, we had 736 multi-family starts in Regina. Our expectations are to improve on that (in 2012).”
In the Saskatoon area, home builders started 177 housing units in January, up from 120 units a year prior, CMHC said.
Regina’s builders started work on 57 single-detached homes in January, up eight per cent from 53 units in 2011. Multi-family starts, which consist of semi-detached units, rows, and apartments, recorded the largest improvement over the previous year.
Multi-family starts totalled 220 units in January, a nearly threefold increase from the same period in 2011 when builders started 74 units.
Meanwhile in Saskatoon, local builders poured foundations for 105 single-detached homes in January, a 31-per-cent increase from the previous year when 80 single-detached units were started. Multi-family starts also increased, as area builders started 72 units in January, compared to 40 units in January 2011.
The province’s strong economy is reflected in the heightened pace of starts in both Regina and Saskatoon, he added. Regina had an increase of 118.1 per cent, while Saskatoon had a 47.5 per cent increase over the same period.
Saskatchewan’s housing market continued at a record pace in January, as urban housing starts were up 70.8 per cent in January compared to last January 2011. The 473 total housing starts was a record for the month of January.
Single-family dwellings were up by 20.8 per cent in January over January 2011, while multiple unit starts increased by 124.8 per cent.
Nationally, housing starts weakened in January as construction of multiple-unit homes declined, the federal agency said.
“The slight decrease posted in January was attributable to a decrease in Quebec and in Atlantic Canada,” said Mathieu Laberge, CMHC’s deputy chief economist. “The multiple starts segment accounted for most of the reduction in those two regions.”
Urban construction fell by 2.8 per cent to 176,600 units in January, with single-unit starts down 7.8 per cent to 64,900 units, while multi-unit starts edged up 0.4 per cent to 111,700 units.
Urban starts dropped by 35.4 per cent in Atlantic Canada, and by 34.4 per cent in Quebec, while construction in British Columbia rose by 28 per cent and by 11.1 per cent in Ontario, while starts in the Prairies were up 2.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, rural housing starts rose at a rate of 21,300 units in January from 18,300 the previous month.
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post