CALGARY – Total housing starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area are up by an incredible amount in February compared with a year ago — an indication of how far the economy had fallen at the beginning of 2009.
According to preliminary figures released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., total starts reached 743 units last month in the Calgary CMA, up substantially from 206 units in the previous year.
Single-detached starts jumped to 545 units compared with 184 a year ago while multi-family starts hit 198 in February, rising from a meagre 22 in February 2009.
“The year-over-year rise in production (in the single-detached sector) was a bit pronounced as housing starts in the beginning of 2009 were unusually low due to elevated inventories and uncertain economic conditions,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC. “With the economy stabilizing, new construction activity is returning to more historical norms with February’s numbers slightly above the 10-year average of 535 units.”
In Alberta’s seven largest centres, there were a total of 1,562 units started in February, compared to 574 units a year earlier.