Residential Construction Remains Below 2006 Levels

    HALIFAX, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - Residential construction activity remained weak
in July as new home starts fell short of July 2006 levels. According to Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) preliminary data(1) released today
for Nova Scotia's urban areas with a population over 10,000, there were 275
total housing starts last month compared with 463 in July 2006, a decrease of
41 per cent. At 190 units, single-detached starts were off by only four per
cent compared to July last year. Multiple starts were down sharply with only
85 units starting in July 2007 compared to 265 a year ago.
    "High and rising land, labour and development costs combined with
attractive alternatives in the existing home market continue to suppress
demand for newly constructed single-detached homes," said Matthew Gilmore,
Senior Market Analyst with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "While new
construction has been weak, sales activity in the existing home market has
been at record levels throughout most of the year," added Gilmore.
    The segment of the market showing the greatest decline in 2007 has been
new apartment construction which is down 25 per cent through the January to
July period. "Apartment construction has been slow, but is expected to improve
over the next few months," said Gilmore.
    In urban centres across Canada in July there were 16,921 total housing
starts, 12 per cent fewer than the 19,298 starts in July 2006. There were
8,919 single-detached housing starts across Canada last month, three per cent
less than the 9,188 single starts in July 2006. At 8,002 units, multiple
housing starts represented a 21 per cent decline from the 10,110 units started
in July 2006.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national
housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians
access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant,
healthy communities and cities a reality 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.)

                             NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
                          2007    2006    % Change   YEAR-TO-DATE    % Change
                          ------------               ------------
                           JUL     JUL               2007    2006
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS greater than 50,000
    Single                 135     137       -1.5%    599     635       -5.7%
    Multiple                73     224      -67.4%    745     965      -22.8%
    TOTAL                  208     361      -42.4%  1,344   1,600      -16.0%
    Single                  12      11        9.1%     45      83      -45.8%
    Multiple                 2       4      -50.0%     24      35      -31.4%
    TOTAL                   14      15       -6.7%     69     118      -41.5%
            ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION greater than 10,000
    Single                 190     198       -4.0%    827     908       -8.9%
    Multiple                85     265      -67.9%    846   1,134      -25.4%
    TOTAL                  275     463      -40.6%  1,673   2,042      -18.1%

    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).

    (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; For more information, visit or call 1 800 668-2642.

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