Housing boom keeps on pip­ing

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - FRONT PAGE - HANK DANISZEWSKI POST­MEDIA NEWS hdaniszewski@post­media.com The London Free Press

Mike Need­ham low­ers a 6.1-me­tre length of 400mm plas­tic wa­ter pipe into its trench with the guid­ance of Trent Heu­vel, left, Chuck Zet­tler, front and Joe Amaral, right at rear. CH Ex­ca­vat­ing has a $6-mil­lion con­tract to grade land and in­stall sewer and wa­ter ser­vices for a new 120-lot sub­di­vi­sion in London, part of a boom­ing area house-build­ing in­dus­try.

Au­gust brought a big surge in sin­gle fam­ily home con­struc­tion in the London area with the num­ber of starts up more than 50 per cent.

The Canada Mort­gage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said there were 211 sin­gle fam­ily housing starts in the London-St. Thomas area in Au­gust com­pared to 135 in the same month last year.

The de­mand for singl-fam­ily homes is putting pres­sure on city of­fi­cials to meet the de­mand for ser­viced build­ing lots.

On Mon­day, London city coun­cil’s plan­ning com­mit­tee will be asked by staff to ap­prove nearly 500 homes in four pro­posed de­vel­op­ments be­tween Sun­ning­dale Road in the north and Colonel Tal­bot Road in the south.

But the num­ber of starts in the more volatile multi-fam­ily sec­tor was down in Au­gust. The CMHC re­ports 187 starts last month com­pared to 273 in Au­gust 2016.

Over­all, there 398 housing starts last month, slightly be­low the 408 starts recorded last Au­gust.

So far this year there have 2,581 housing starts in the London area, up 22 per cent the same pe­riod in 2016.

That in­cludes 1,208 sin­gle starts, up from 919, and 1,373 multi-fam­ily com­pared to 1,188 last year.

Across Canada the es­ti­mated an­nual num­ber of housing starts rose slightly last month to 223,200 led by On­tario.

In On­tario the an­nu­al­ized num­ber of housing starts jumped to 95,000 with most of the ac­tiv­ity in sin­gle-fam­ily starts in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Cana­dian home­build­ing ac­tiv­ity re­mains ro­bust, and shows no signs of slow­ing down . . . . No­tably, while On­tario housing starts are on pace for the best year in 14 years, pop­u­la­tion growth is run­ning at the fastest rate since that time as well,” said BMO econ­o­mist Robert Kav­cic.

MIKE HENSEN/POST­MEDIA NEWS

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