Home con­struc­tion picks up in July

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - CRAIG WONG

OTTAWA — Home con­struc­tion in Canada picked up last month, driven by Bri­tish Columbia and Al­berta, de­fy­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that home­build­ing ac­tiv­ity would cool down.

The sea­son­ally ad­justed an­nual rate of hous­ing starts rose to 222,324 units in July, up from 212,948 in June, Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp. said Wed­nes­day.

In Hamil­ton, the sea­son­ally ad­justed an­nual rate was also up month-over-month, ris­ing to 2,909 units in July from 2,142 in June.

Lo­cal builders started fewer hous­ing units in July of this year, 256, com­pared with 380 in the same month last year.

Na­tion­ally, the ramp-up in starts likely re­flects strong de­mand for new hous­ing from the end of last year into the start of this year, TD Bank econ­o­mist Diana Pe­tra­mala said, adding that the new con­struc­tion mar­ket tends to lag real es­tate de­mand, which has started to fall.

Pe­tra­mala said reg­u­la­tory changes over the past year in­clud­ing tougher mort­gage qual­i­fi­ca­tion rules have prompted a shift for some first-time home­buy­ers from ex­ist­ing homes to cheaper, newly built dwellings.

“Some of the mo­men­tum could po­ten­tially carry for­ward into the sec­ond half of the year be­fore new home con­struc­tion eases along with the ex­ist­ing home mar­ket next year,” she said.

Last month, the Cana­dian Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion re­ported that na­tional home sales fig­ures in June posted their largest monthly drop in seven years. The as­so­ci­a­tion is ex­pected to re­lease July sales data next week.

Re­gion­ally, the an­nual pace of hous­ing starts in B.C. surged 20 per cent com­pared with June while Al­berta saw an eight per cent in­crease. The an­nual pace of starts in On­tario was up one per cent.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.