For the third month in a row single-family housing starts have increased in Lethbridge and surrounding area.
Just don’t read too much into it or assume the recession is coming to an end, at least not yet.
“We always see movement at this time of year,” says Jean Greer McCarthy, president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Lethbridge region.
McCarthy says new-home starts normally increase in the spring as the weather grows warmer and more people visit showhomes. But it’s still a good sign the home-building industry is doing well, she adds.
“The market is getting better.”
There were 35 housing starts in the Lethbridge census area in April, according to statistics released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That’s up from March starts of 27 and February starts of only 22. But they’re also down considerably from the 44 starts in January and the 75 starts in April of 2008.
There were two multi-family starts last month, which is an increase of two over March when there weren’t any multi-family starts at all. There were four multi-family starts in February, 12 in January, and 14 in April of 2008.
In total, there were 37 starts last month in the Lethbridge area, a decrease of about 58 per cent from the same month last year. And year to date there have been 146 single-detached and mult-family starts, compared to 360 starts during the same four months in 2008, a drop of 59 per cent.
McCarthy says it’s hard to predict trends in Lethbridge, especially month to month, because the market here is different than most other Alberta cities. But she notes housing starts, although down compared to last year, are pretty much on target this year, and the resale of homes is also improving.
“Starters and condominiums are moving very well.”
The slowdown in home starts since the end of the boom has primarily impacted the move-up market; people looking to move into a larger home but whom decided to sit tight until the market improved,” McCarthy says. But the market has since improved for both starter and high-end homes.
“There’s movement across the board.”
The market is also picking up in Calgary, where builders started 234 single-detached units last month, which is about 70 per cent of the production in April 2008. But the number is up significantly from the 171 starts in March.
“New home sales are starting to improve with lower mortgage rates and consumers taking advantage of builder incentives,” Lai Sing Louie, CMHC senior market analyst, said in a news release.
Multi-family starts, which include semi-detached, row, and apartments, totalled 87 units last month compared to 760 units started in April 2008, mostly because of some major condo projects. Year-to-date, there have been a total of 274 multi-family starts, down 94 per cent from the same period in 2008.
Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.
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Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the Lethbridge real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as Lethbridge mortgage financing, mortgage refinancing, preapprovals, and Lethbridge heloc financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at this link: mortgage broker Lethbridge
Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.