Urban Housing Starts Soar in May



    ST. JOHN'S, June 9 /CNW/ - Provincial urban housing starts soared during
the month of May, according to preliminary data(1) released today by Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). May's total housing starts soared
49 per cent, with 230 posted within the province compared to 154 a year ago. A
total of 224 of the 230 starts were within St. John's metro versus 124 last
May, a record increase of 81 per cent. Year-to-date, there have been 471 new
homes started across the province versus last year's total of 395 homes during
the same period. A total of 456 of these starts occurred within St. John's
metro, for a year-to-date increase of 33 per cent.
    "With pent-up demand for newly built homes within the local housing
market, May's notable increase in housing starts is an example of the impact
that a limited supply of current listings available for sale can have on
residential construction activity," said Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst
with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. "With a buoyant sellers market, the
current supply of active listings is approximately 50 per cent lower than a
year ago, so buyers are shifting to new homes, simply because they cannot find
a suitable existing home in the resale market," added Janes.
    For Canada's urban centres, total housing starts were down five per cent
to 18,371 in May compared to May of 2007. Single-detached starts fell 15 per
cent to 7,963, while multiple starts of 10,408 represent a four per cent
increase from a year ago. Throughout Atlantic Canada, there were 996 urban
housing starts versus 835 the previous May.

    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
                       MAY       MAY                2008      2007
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS (greater than) 50,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ST. JOHN'S CMA
    Single             168       105      60.0%      361       252      43.3%
    Multiple            56        19       (xx)       95        91       4.4%
    TOTAL              224       124      80.6%      456       343      32.9%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION (greater than) 10,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ALL CENTRES(*)
    Single             171       129      32.6%      373       296      26.0%
    Multiple            59        25       (xx)       98        99      -1.0%
    TOTAL              230       154      49.4%      471       395      19.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    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 -
Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (709)
772-2403, cjanes@cmhc.ca


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