St. John's Area Housing Starts Positive in First Quarter



    ST. JOHN'S, April 8 /CNW/ - Urban housing starts were positive during the
first quarter of 2009, despite retreating slightly during the month of March,
according to preliminary data(1) released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC). Housing starts totaled 214 throughout the St. John's area
during the first quarter compared to 172 starts during the same period last
year. For the month of March, there were 45 starts compared to 55 during March
of 2008. With 224 total starts recorded province-wide versus 176 a year ago,
Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province in Canada with positive first
quarter results.
    "Despite retreating slightly during the month of March, urban housing
starts posted solid results during the first quarter of this year, increasing
24 per cent over the same three-month period in 2008," said Chris Janes,
senior market analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. "The local
economy remains stable and continues to support housing market activity and
prices so far in 2009," added Janes.
    For Canada's urban centres, total housing starts fell 45 per cent with
8,629 recorded in March compared to 15,616 during March of 2008.
Single-detached starts decreased 46 per cent to 2,566, while multiple starts
of 6,063 represent a 44 per cent decline from a year ago. Throughout Atlantic
Canada, there were 244 urban housing starts posted versus 522 the previous
March, a decrease of 53 per cent.
    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.

    For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

    (Ce document existe également en français)

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

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   PRELIMINARY URBAN MONTHLY HOUSING STARTS
                       NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR SUMMARY
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      2009     2008                 YEAR-TO-DATE
                    -----------------  % Change   ----------------  % Change
                       MAR      MAR                 2009    2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 50,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ST. JOHN'S CMA
    Single              39       49       -20.4%     166     141        17.7%
    Multiple             6        6         0.0%      48      31        54.8%
    TOTAL               45       55       -18.2%     214     172        24.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION GREATER THAN 10,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ALL CENTRES(*)
    Single              41       50       -18.0%     174     145        20.0%
    Multiple             6        6         0.0%      50      31        61.3%
    TOTAL               47       56       -16.1%     224     176        27.3%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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, Bay Roberts CA, 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, CMHC
Market Analysis Centre, (709)772-2403, Cell: (709)743-4636, cjanes@cmhc.ca


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