November Housing Starts Below 10 Year Average

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Housing Starts Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 187,200 units in November, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is up from 167,800 units in October.

After a busy six consecutive months, starts activity slowed in November with only ten single-detached units breaking ground according to data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Still year-to-date single-detached starts to 191 units, up nearly 21 per cent from last year’s eleven month total.

“Singles starts came in at seven units below the ten year average for the month,” observed Warren Philp, Northern Ontario Market Analyst with CMHC. “However, Thunder Bay has already seen more total starts this year than in 2009 with 191 single-detached units started for the first 11 months compared to 158 for the same period in 2009. Tighter resale market conditions in Thunder Bay have spilled over into higher levels of new home construction,” concluded Philp.

Although limited in number, starts of semis, rows and apartment units are ahead of 2009 also, albeit by only four units. There have been 18 such starts this year compared to 14 last year.

“Housing starts moved higher in November primarily due to a strong increase in urban multiple starts in Ontario,” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre. “The increase in housing starts in Ontario in November was more than enough to offset declines in all other regions of the country.”

This exceptional increase in the level of multiple starts recorded in Ontario in November relative to October is attributable to the start of a number of major apartment projects located mainly in the Toronto area. Looking ahead into 2011, housing starts will gradually become more closely aligned to demographic demand, which is currently estimated at about 175,000 units per year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased by 14.6 per cent to 163,100 units in November. Urban multiple starts went up by 20.9 per cent in November to 101,800 units, while single urban starts moved up by 5.5 per cent to 61,300 units. Multiple unit starts went up 29,900 units from October to November in Ontario, while it remained relatively stable in the Prairie Region and decreased in other regions.

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