City sees rebound in housing starts

Last month, Saskatoon recorded the highest number of November housing starts since 1982, new figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) show.

In its monthly survey of residential construction released Tuesday, the CMHC said work started on 361 homes in the Saskatoon census metropolitan area in November, the highest number in 27 years.

Of the 361 starts, 177 were single-detached homes, up from 80 such starts in November 2008, and 184 were multiple-family homes, a far cry from the two multi-family starts recorded during the same time last year.

Year-to-date, CMHC figures show 1,305 homes have been started in the city since January, a 42.4 per cent drop from the 2,264 housing starts recorded by November 2008. Of the total number of homes that went under the hammer so far this year, 1,004 are single-detached houses and 301 are multi-family.

"On a year-to date basis, both Regina and Saskatoon have lower housing starts than last year," said Paul Caton, the CMHC's market analyst for Saskatchewan. "But on a month-over-month basis, there are signs that new housing construction is on an upswing."

So far this year, 872 new homes have been started in Regina -- 531 of them single-family and 341 multi-family.

Last month, construction started on 125 homes in the capital city, a 12 per cent drop over November 2008.

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