Housing starts in the Calgary region soared in November, sparked by a surge in new multi-family construction, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The agency reported Monday that total starts in the Calgary census metropolitan area jumped by 71 per cent from a year ago to 1,693 units during the month.
Multi-family construction rose by 129.2 per cent year-over-year to 1,098 units while single-detached starts were up 16.4 per cent to 595 units.
“There was an elevated level on residential construction in November, primarily due to higher row and apartment starts,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary with CMHC. “Relatively low inventories and continued demand for housing has contributed to the gains recorded last month.
“Despite the increase, multi-family starts in 2013 are forecast to remain below 2012 levels, but rebound in 2014. Multi-family starts in 2014 are forecast to rise, reaching 6,600 units.”
CMHC said housing starts were trending at 13,949 units in November compared with 12,547 in October. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally-adjusted annual rates of total housing starts.
“The trend in total housing starts increased in November for the fifth consecutive month, primarily due to an elevated level of multi-family construction,” said Cho.
Year-to-date, total starts in the Calgary region of 11,688 are down by 2.4 per cent compared with the same period last year. Multi-family construction is down by 12.9 per cent to 5,701 units but single-detached starts have risen by 10.2 per cent to 5,987 units.
Nationally, housing starts fell three per cent in November to 192,200 annualized units.
“Alberta, however, surged to just shy of the best level since early 2008 — starts in that province are up 7.1 per cent year-over-year through November, best in Canada, as demand and price trends continue to outperform,” said Robert Kavcic, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets.
According to CMHC, total urban starts in Alberta year-to-date are 30,141, up from 28,481 for the same period last year. Single-detached starts have risen to 15,035 from 13,973 last year while multi-family starts have jumped to 15,106 this year from 14,508 last year.