Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 08, 2008 23:59 ET

St. John's Area Housing Starts Positive in First Quarter

ST. JOHN'S, April 8 - Urban housing starts were positive during the
first quarter of 2009, despite retreating slightly during the month of March,
according to preliminary data(1) released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC). Housing starts totaled 214 throughout the St. John's area
during the first quarter compared to 172 starts during the same period last
year. For the month of March, there were 45 starts compared to 55 during March
of 2008. With 224 total starts recorded province-wide versus 176 a year ago,
Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province in Canada with positive first
quarter results.

"Despite retreating slightly during the month of March, urban housing
starts posted solid results during the first quarter of this year, increasing
24 per cent over the same three-month period in 2008," said Chris Janes,
senior market analyst with CMHC in Newfoundland and Labrador. "The local
economy remains stable and continues to support housing market activity and
prices so far in 2009," added Janes.

For Canada's urban centres, total housing starts fell 45 per cent with
8,629 recorded in March compared to 15,616 during March of 2008.
Single-detached starts decreased 46 per cent to 2,566, while multiple starts
of 6,063 represent a 44 per cent decline from a year ago. Throughout Atlantic
Canada, there were 244 urban housing starts posted versus 522 the previous
March, a decrease of 53 per cent.

New home construction in Canada is slowing to more sustainable levels and
starts are forecast to come in at 160,250 units, within a range of 141,000 to
180,000 units in 2009. These trends are reflected in the year-to-date actual
starts. These decreases, however, should be viewed in the context that housing
starts have been exceptionally strong over the past 7 years, exceeding 200,000
units per year.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

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(1) Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
sampling results.

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PRELIMINARY URBAN MONTHLY HOUSING STARTS
NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR SUMMARY
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2009 2008 YEAR-TO-DATE
----------------- % Change ---------------- % Change
MAR MAR 2009 2008
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ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 50,000
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ST. JOHN'S CMA
Single 39 49 -20.4% 166 141 17.7%
Multiple 6 6 0.0% 48 31 54.8%
TOTAL 45 55 -18.2% 214 172 24.4%
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ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION GREATER THAN 10,000
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ALL CENTRES(*)
Single 41 50 -18.0% 174 145 20.0%
Multiple 6 6 0.0% 50 31 61.3%
TOTAL 47 56 -16.1% 224 176 27.3%
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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, Bay Roberts CA, 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.

Contact Information

  • Chris Janes, Senior Market Analyst - NL, CMHC
    Market Analysis Centre, (709)772-2403, Cell: (709)743-4636, cjanes@cmhc.ca