Saskatoon housing starts see increase
12 Nov 2014
— With files from the Leader-Post and The Canadian Press
City housing starts see increase
Housing starts in the Saskatoon area saw a 12 per cent jump in October as 268 units were started compared to 239 in October 2013, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said in its latest monthly housing starts report.
All the gains came from multiple unit starts, which almost doubled from the previous year with 108 units started last month compared to just 58 in October 2013.
Single unit starts were lower (160 in October 2014 compared to 181 in October 2013).
So far this year Saskatoon and area has seen 2,939 starts, up almost 13 per cent from the 2,606 starts at the end of October 2013.
In the Regina area, home builders started construction on 305 housing units in October, down 19 per cent from 376 in October 2013, largely due to a decline in single- detached housing starts. Last month, only 68 single-family dwellings were started, down 39 per cent from 111 single-family starts in October last year, while multiple-unit starts were down about 11 per cent to 237 from 265 during the same period last year.
The combined urban starts so far this year in the two cites are down slightly with 6,282 begun this year compared to 6,384 starts for the same period in 2013.
“The trend in total housing starts moved lower in October as both singledetached and multi-family starts declined from a faster pace of construction over the summer months,” said Goodson Mwale, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Saskatchewan, in a news release. “Despite the recent reduction in the pace of construction, local builders have initiated more homes so far this year than in 2013, supported by declining new home inventory, continued employment growth, and population gains.”
Nationally, the pace of new home starts slowed in October due to less construction of multiple-unit homes including condominiums. CMHC estimated the standalone monthly seasonally adjusted annual rate was 183,604 units in October, down from 197,355 the previous month.
“The decrease in the trend reflects a decline, in October, of starts of multi-unit dwellings, including condominiums,” CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan said in a statement. “Given the elevated level of condominium units under construction, our expectation is that condominium starts will continue to trend lower over the coming months.”
TD Bank economist Brian DePratto noted that while the October results fell short of expectations, the trend over the last six months has still outperformed the bank’s expectations and has remained well above the 180,000 level needed to keep up with underlying population growth.
“In addition, the decline was led entirely by multiple-unit starts, which can be quite volatile,” DePratto wrote in a note to clients.