Urban Housing Starts Affected by Weather in February

    ST. JOHN'S, March 8 /CNW/ - Urban housing starts were affected by weather
in February, according to preliminary data(1) released today by Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). For the month of February, a total of
63 housing starts were recorded across provincial urban centres, down nine per
cent over February of 2006. Within the St. John's metropolitan area, housing
starts pulled back 12 per cent with 61 units recorded in February versus 69
during the same period last year. However, of the total number of starts
recorded, 40 were condos at a new condominium development in St. John's. In
terms of the key single-detached segment, there were only 17 new homes started
in February compared to 41 last year, a drop of 59 per cent.
    "Clearly, it was impossible for local builders to maintain any reasonable
level of new home construction, given the huge amount of snow that fell within
the St. John's region during the month of February," said Chris Janes, Senior
Market Analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. "With January's good
results and the solid economic climate within the metro area, we expected this
month to be on par with the level of residential construction activity
recorded in February of 2006," added Janes.
    For Canada's urban centres, total housing starts stumbled 24 per cent in
February over February of 2006. Single-detached starts fell 26 per cent to
4,389, while multiple starts of 5,047 represent a 22 per cent decline compared
to last February. In Atlantic Canada, there were 278 urban housing starts,
down seven per cent over the same month last year.
    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.)

    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.

                       NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR SUMMARY
                      2007      2006                 YEAR-TO-DATE
                    ------------------ % Change ------------------  % Change
                       FEB       FEB                2007      2006
    Single              17        41     -58.5%       64        95     -32.6%
    Multiple            44        28      57.1%       60        42      42.9%
    TOTAL               61        69     -11.6%      124       137      -9.5%
    Single              17        41     -58.5%       69        95     -27.4%
    Multiple            46        28      64.3%       62        42      47.6%
    TOTAL               63        69      -8.7%      131       137      -4.4%

    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; visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642

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