Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nanaimo Residential Construction Continues to Climb

Nanaimo Residential Construction
Goes Against Vancouver Island Trend

While most major centers on Vancouver Island showed a decline in first quarter housing starts over last year, Nanaimo showed an increase for the quarter and month to month.

The first quarter of 2007 saw 165 units in Nanaimo compared with the same period in 2008 of 247 units. The month of March saw a total of 134 new units, including apartment and condo units compared with 58 units in March 2007.

Overall the Canadian housing market is described as brisk in March according to CMHC statistics. The overall actual starts of both urban and rural housing in Canada for the month of March showed an increase of 12.8% over the previous year.

For readers wanting more detail the following is the complete press release from CMHC released on April 8/08.

Housing Starts Brisk in March

OTTAWA, April 8, 2008 — The seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of housing starts was 254,700 units in March, slightly down from 255,600 units in February, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

“The high level of starts posted in February continued in March, thanks to the multiple segment and particularly condominium starts, which registered a significant rise in Alberta” said Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. “Nevertheless, the single-detached component, which is usually a strong trend indicator, decreased slightly. This is consistent with our view that the housing market will moderate gradually throughout 2008.”

In March the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts edged down by 0.4 per cent to 221,500 units compared to February. Urban multiples were up 1.1 per cent to 141,000 units, while singles decreased 2.9 per cent to 80,500 units.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts went down in three of Canada's five regions in March. Urban starts registered a decrease of 2.3 per cent in Ontario, 16.8 per cent in Quebec and 37.1 per cent in British Columbia. Meanwhile, urban starts jumped in the Atlantic and the Prairies with increases of 75.0 per cent and 52.5 per cent, respectively. These significant increases were mainly attributable to the urban multiple start segment which posted declines in the other regions of the country. Urban singles were up in all regions except Quebec and Ontario.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 33,200 units in March.

For the first quarter of 2008, actual starts, in rural and urban areas combined, were up an estimated 12.8 per cent compared to the same period last year. Actual starts in urban areas alone increased by an estimated 15.8 per cent year-to-date. Actual urban single starts for the first three months were 10.7 per cent lower than they were a year earlier, while multiple starts increased by 35.6 per cent over the same period.

1. All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) – that is, monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 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, call 1-800-668-2642.


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