Tuesday, July 01, 2008

CMHC reports that Housing Starts Edge Lower in May

CMHC Reports that Housing Starts Edge Lower in May
Total housing starts in the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA) trended slightly
lower in May. A continued decline in
low-rise home starts was moderated
by another strong month for condominium
apartment starts.


On an unadjusted basis, total housing
starts in the first five months of
2008 were up by 33 per cent compared
to the same time period a year
earlier. A resurgence in condominium
apartment construction was
the driver of the total starts increase
year-to-date, with starts of this
housing type more than doubling
through the first five months of the
year.


Strong pre-construction
condominium apartment sales in
2006 and 2007 have resulted in an
increase in new construction activity.
Rising house prices coupled with
strong first-time buying activity
resulted in increased demand for
less expensive home types over the
past two years, especially condominium
apartments.


Low-rise home starts during the first
five months of the year were down
13 per cent compared to the same
period in 2007. Semi-detached and
row houses experienced the greatest
decline, while single-detached starts
remained in line with last year's levels.
Single-detached starts have remained level because of strong pre-construction
sales in 2007. Many areas that
have experienced growth in single detached
starts in 2008 are also
those areas where average absorbed
prices are below the average for the
GTA as a whole.



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