Multiples Drag Total Housing Starts Lower in February



    ST. JOHN'S, March 10 /CNW/ - Urban housing starts were lower during the
month of February, according to preliminary data(1) released today by Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). February's total housing starts
retreated 18 per cent, with 51 posted across provincial urban centres compared
to 62 a year ago. All 51 starts were within the St. John's region versus 61
last February, a decrease of 16 per cent. However, starts of single-detached
homes surged 135 per cent to 40 within St. John's metro, while multiple starts
sank 75 per cent to 11 after posting 44 in February of 2007.
    "After beginning the year relatively strong, February's decline in total
urban housing starts was attributed to a lack of multiple housing
construction," said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst with CMHC in
Newfoundland and Labrador. "Despite February's lack of multiple housing
starts, a surge in the single-detached segment is a positive signal and the
expectation is that 2008 will be a solid year for residential construction
activity," added Janes.
    For Canada's urban centres, total housing starts surged 42 per cent to
13,436 in February compared to February of 2007. Single-detached starts fell
five per cent to 4,203, while multiple starts of 9,233 represent a lofty
84 per cent increase over last year. Throughout Atlantic Canada, there were
242 urban housing starts, a 12 per cent drop over the previous February.
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation conducts a monthly survey of
housing construction in urban centres of Canada with a population of 50,000
and over.

    
    (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
                       NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR SUMMARY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      2008      2007                  YEAR-TO-DATE
                      --------------  % Change      --------------  % Change
                       FEB       FEB                2008      2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS (greater than) 50,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ST. JOHN'S CMA
    Single              40        17       (xx)       92        64      43.8%
    Multiple            11        44     -75.0%       25        60     -58.3%
    TOTAL               51        61     -16.4%      117       124      -5.6%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION (greater than)10,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ALL CENTRES(*)
    Single              40        18       (xx)       97        67      44.8%
    Multiple            11        44     -75.0%       25        60     -58.3%
    TOTAL               51        62     -17.7%      122       127      -3.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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
    (St. John's CMA, Corner Brook CA, Gander CA, Grand Falls/Windsor CA, and
    Labrador City 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: Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst - NL, (709)
772-2403, cjanes@cmhc.ca


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