Housing-Starts Lag Seen as Blip

By McNeill, Murray | Winnipeg Free Press, December 11, 2012 | Go to article overview

Housing-Starts Lag Seen as Blip


McNeill, Murray, Winnipeg Free Press


THE pace of new-home construction slowed for the second straight month in November, but 2012 is still shaping up to be the busiest year in more than two decades for local homebuilders.

A Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. official said Monday homebuilders are on track to finish the year with the highest number of single-detached starts in 23 years and the highest number of multi-family starts in 25 years.

"Total housing starts in the Winnipeg (Census Metropolitan Area) are maintaining an elevated pace as the new-home market responds to a growing population," Dianne Himbeault, CMHC's senior market analyst for Winnipeg, said in an interview.

The president of the Manitoba Home Builders' Association also said 2012 will go down in the books as a banner year for the local industry.

"Every single person I've talked to is having an extremely good year," Mike Moore said.

He and Himbeault both downplayed the significance of the recent drop-off in housing starts, noting October and November of last year were both unseasonably warm months.

That enabled homebuilders to post some unusually strong numbers, Moore said. So it's no surprise they weren't able to maintain that same level of activity this fall, when the weather was less favourable.

"Also, we've been going full bore all year, so it's assumed it will slow down a little bit at some point," he added. …

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