Halifax Housing Starts Slow in March



    HALIFAX, April 8 /CNW/ - New residential construction in Halifax
decreased in March compared to the same period last year. According to Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) preliminary data(1) released today
for Halifax, there were 89 total housing starts last month compared to 259 in
March 2008. There were 40 single starts last month compared with 75 in March
2008 while multiple starts decreased significantly from 184 to 49 units.
    "A lack of apartment unit starts last month compared to a relatively
strong month for apartment unit starts in March 2008 resulted in a large
percentage decrease in total starts in March 2009," said Matthew Gilmore,
senior market analyst with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "On a year-to-date
basis, the first quarter continued to see general weakness in demand for new
construction and resulted in a nearly 50 per cent decrease in single-detached
starts activity," Gilmore continued.
    In urban centres across Canada, total housing starts in March declined by
45 per cent, down to 8,629 compared to last year's total of 15,616.
Single-detached starts decreased 46 per cent to 2,566 units, while multiple
unit starts were down 44 per cent from 10,867 units last year to 6,063 units
this year. In the Atlantic region, 244 new units were started in March 2009
compared to 522 units during the same period in 2008.
    New home construction in Canada is slowing to more sustainable levels and
starts are forecast to come in at 160,250 units, within a range of 141,000 to
180,000 units in 2009. These trends are reflected in the year-to-date actual
starts. These decreases, however, should be viewed in the context that housing
starts have been exceptionally strong over the past 7 years, exceeding 200,000
units per year.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    -----------------------------------
    (1) Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
    revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
    sampling results.

    (Ce document existe également en français)

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   PRELIMINARY URBAN MONTHLY HOUSING STARTS
                             NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      2009      2008                  YEAR-TO-DATE
                     ---------------- % Change     ---------------- % Change
                       MAR       MAR                2009      2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 50,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HALIFAX CMA
    Single              40        75     -46.7%      104       204     -49.0%
    Multiple            49       184       (xx)      170       219     -22.4%
    TOTAL               89       259       (xx)      274       423     -35.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CAPE BRETON RGM
    Single               6        10       (xx)       14        22     -36.4%
    Multiple             0         0       0.0%       10         6        --
    TOTAL                6        10       (xx)       24        28     -14.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION GREATER THAN 10,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ALL CENTRES (*)
    Single              66       112     -41.1%      165       301     -45.2%
    Multiple            55       259       (xx)      200       312     -35.9%
    TOTAL              121       371       (xx)      365       613     -40.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
    revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
    sampling results.

    (*) Includes all centres with a total population of more than 10,000
    (Halifax CMA, Cape Breton RGM, Truro CA, Kentville CA and New Glasgow
    CA, Chester MD CA, East Hants MD CA, Kings Subd. A SC CA, Lunenburg MD
    CA, Queens RGM CA, West Hants MD CA, Yarmouth MD CA).

    (xx) Indicates changes in excess of 100% which are not reported due to
    volatility resulting from small absolute numbers.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 PRELIMINARY URBAN QUARTERLY HOUSING STARTS
                             NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      2009      2008                  YEAR-TO-DATE
                     ---------------- % Change     ---------------- % Change
                        Q1        Q1                2009      2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 10,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HALIFAX CMA
    Single             104       204     -49.0%      104       204     -49.0%
    Multiple           170       219     -22.4%      170       219     -22.4%
    TOTAL              274       423     -35.2%      274       423     -35.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CAPE BRETON RGM
    Single              14        22     -36.4%       14        22     -36.4%
    Multiple            10         6       (xx)       10         6       (xx)
    TOTAL               24        28     -14.3%       24        28     -14.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TRURO CA
    Single               5        18     -72.2%        5        18     -72.2%
    Multiple             0        22       (xx)        0        22       (xx)
    TOTAL                5        40       (xx)        5        40       (xx)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    KENTVILLE CA
    Single               4         4       0.0%        4        12     -66.7%
    Multiple             2         4     -50.0%        4         6     -33.3%
    TOTAL                6         8     -25.0%        8        18     -55.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NEW GLASGOW CA
    Single               5         7     -28.6%        5         7     -28.6%
    Multiple             2         9     -77.8%        2         9     -77.8%
    TOTAL                7        16     -56.3%        7        16     -56.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    OTHER URBAN
    CENTRES
    Single              33        46     -28.3%       33        46     -28.3%
    Multiple            16        52     -69.2%       16        52     -69.2%
    TOTAL               49        98     -50.0%       49        98     -50.0%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ALL CENTRES(*)
    Single             165       301     -45.2%      165       301     -45.2%
    Multiple           200       312     -35.9%      200       312     -35.9%
    TOTAL              365       613     -40.5%      365       613     -40.5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
    revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
    sampling results.

    (*) Includes all centres with a total population of more than 10,000
    (Halifax CMA, Cape Breton RGM, Truro CA, Kentville CA and New Glasgow CA,
    Chester MD CA, East Hants MD CA, Kings Subd. A SC CA, Lunenburg MD CA,
    Queens RGM CA, West Hants MD CA, Yarmouth MD CA).

    (xx) Indicates changes in excess of 100% which are not reported due to
    volatility resulting from small absolute numbers.
    




For further information:

For further information: Matthew Gilmore, Senior Market Analyst, Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-4686, mgilmore@cmhc-schl.gc.ca;
For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642


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