Urban Housing Starts Activity in Nova Scotia Slips in May

    HALIFAX, June 8 /CNW/ - Residential construction activity in 2007
continues to be below 2006 levels. New starts figures for both single-detached
and multi-residential projects were significantly lower this year than in May
2006. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) preliminary
data(1) released today for Nova Scotia's urban areas with a population over
10,000, there were 270 total housing starts last month compared with 366 in
May 2006. The 110 single-detached houses started last month were 32 per cent
fewer than the 162 started in May 2006. Over the same comparative period,
multi-residential housing starts slipped to 160 units last month compared with
204 units that were started in May 2006.
    "Demand for single-detached homes continues to be weak in Metro Halifax
due to rising costs and the attraction of buying an existing and often
substantially renovated home," said Matthew Gilmore, Senior Market Analyst
with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "Buyers looking for new products are
turning more and more to the cost effective option of multi-residential living
in the form of semi-detached and row houses. These structure types are seeing
double-digit growth in new starts in 2007," Gilmore said. "Builders will find
opportunities to leverage some economies of scale created by these structure
types or turn to the luxury custom home segment of the market which has
recently shown increased strength," added Gilmore.
    In urban centres across Canada in May there were 18,889 total housing
starts, five per cent higher than the 17,909 starts in May 2006. There were
9,026 single-detached housing starts across Canada last month, three per cent
fewer than the 9,352 single starts in May 2006 while the 9,863 multiple unit
housing starts across Canada last month represented a 15 per cent increase
from the 8,557 units started in May 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               YEAR-TO-DATE
                         -------------- % Change    -------------- % Change
                           MAY     MAY               2007    2006
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS  greater than 50,000
    Single                  87     116     -25.0%     302     368     -17.9%
    Multiple               160     147       8.8%     504     642     -21.5%
    TOTAL                  247     263      -6.1%     806   1,010     -20.2%
    Single                   6      17     -64.7%      23      60     -61.7%
    Multiple                 0       4        XX        8      23     -65.2%
    TOTAL                    6      21     -71.4%      31      83     -62.7%
           ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION  greater than 10,000
    Single                 110     162     -32.1%     404     522     -22.6%
    Multiple               160     204     -21.6%     527     750     -29.7%
    TOTAL                  270     366     -26.2%     931   1,272     -26.8%
    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 - Nova
Scotia, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-4686; visit
www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642

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