Thursday, October 11, 2007

TORONTO HOUSING STARTS INCREASE STRONGLY IN SEPTEMBER

TORONTO HOUSING STARTS INCREASE STRONGLY IN SEPTEMBER

TORONTO, OCTOBER 9,2007 – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

(CMHC) has released preliminary housing starts data for September 2007. The seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of starts increased strongly to 41,800 in September from 32,300 in August. A robust annual rate of multiplefamily starts, especially for condominium apartments, drove this increase.

While condominium apartment starts were much stronger last month compared to September 2006, it should be noted that on an unadjusted basis through the first three quarters of the year starts of this housing type declined by 38 per cent compared to the first nine months of last year. The decline in new condominium apartment construction caused the total number of starts to dip by 12 per cent this year. Single-detached, semidetached and row (town) house starts were up 5.5 per cent compared to last year.

"Demand for new ownership housing has been very strong over the past year, due to seller's market conditions in the resale market driven by favourable local economic conditions and low borrowing costs," according to Jason Mercer, Senior Market Analyst at CMHC. "Demand for condominium apartments in the Toronto area has been especially strong. Record pre-construction condominium apartment sales experienced over the past two years have started to convert into increased starts. This trend is expected to continue in the last quarter of this year and through 2008."

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A. Mark Argentino
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