April 2011 Housing Starts

Photo by Shutter Runner
Photo by Shutter Runner

Housing starts in Canada have declined in April 2011. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts calculated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was 179,000 units, 5,700 units less than in March.

Although single urban starts grew by 3.4%, multiple starts decreased by 5.1%, making overall urban starts fall by 1.9% to 160,100 units. Rural starts were 18,900 units in April. “Housing starts moved lower in April mostly because of decreases in multiple construction across the country and in rural starts,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The multiple segment market in Ontario and Quebec contributed the most to the overall decline in Canada.”

The agency also announced that the total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area were down 38.8% from April 2010. Single-detached starts decreased by 34.9%, while multiple-family starts decreased by 48.3% from the last year. “Home builders continue to hold back production until demand for new homes improves and active listings in the resale market move to more balanced levels,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst for Calgary for the CMHC. This trend can be seen across the country. Housing starts in Alberta’s seven largest municipal centres were down 41% from last year’s pace.

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