Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Multiple units aren't lagging

  • Print
The Heritage Landing highrise apartment block under construction at 300 Assiniboine Ave., on Monday.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

The Heritage Landing highrise apartment block under construction at 300 Assiniboine Ave., on Monday. Photo Store

AT first blush, it looked like the multi-family-homes side of the local housing market missed out on the party last month.

As reported last Friday, July was a record-breaking month for Winnipeg's resale-homes market. And new housing-start numbers released Monday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed single-family housing starts were up 15 per cent from a year earlier, but multi-family starts were down 23 per cent.

However, CMHC senior market analyst Dianne Himbeault noted there were still 402 new multi-family units started last month in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which was the most of any month so far in 2014.

"It (402) is still a pretty good number," Himbeault said, adding the only reason for the less-than-flattering year-over-year number is July 2013 was an exceptionally strong month for multi-family starts, with 525.

Manitoba Home Builders Association president Mike Moore also insisted there was nothing wrong with last month's multi-family-starts total.

Moore said he and CMHC both predicted there would be a decline in single- and multi-family starts this year after one of the best years in recent memory in 2013, with 4,705 combined starts.

He said even if CMHC's spring forecast of 4,300 starts this year proves to be accurate, "that's still a darned good year."

Last year was also the fourth consecutive year in which local builders registered more housing starts than in the previous year, and Moore said that trend couldn't continue indefinitely.

"We don't have the capacity, let along the population or buying patterns, to increase every single year."

The CMHC numbers show there was a 14 per cent decline last month in combined starts in the Winnipeg CMA -- 611 versus 707 in July 2013. That left starts for the first seven months running 14 per cent behind last year's pace -- 2,462 units compared with 2,878.

Both sides contributed to the year-to-date decline, with single starts down 18 per cent to 1,081 units and multi-family starts down 12 per cent to 1,381 units.

Moore said even if total starts are down 12 per cent by year's end, which is what he predicted at the start of the year, "that just puts us back to more stable, more sustainable numbers."

Nationally, the number of actual starts dipped by two per cent in July to 16,758 units from 16,445 a year earlier. Year-to-date they were still running four per cent ahead of last year's pace after seven months -- 97,573 units versus 93,947.

However, CMHC said the seasonally adjusted annual pace of urban starts in Canada increased in July to 200,098 units from 198,665 in June. It said the gains were concentrated in Ontario and Atlantic Canada. The Prairie provinces and Quebec all recorded declines, and there were also modest decreases in British Columbia.

It was the fifth consecutive monthly increase in the seasonally adjusted rate, which prompted one economist to warn the surge in new-home construction in Canada is unsustainable and could approach "worrying" levels if interest rates remain at the current level.

Analysis from TD Economics says builders are taking cues from the current housing market, which is riding high on lower interest rates and solid growth in resale prices.

"This level of activity is unsustainable over the near term, on account of an already-moderate level of overbuilding as well as the likely gradual increase in interest rates," said TD economist Jonathan Bendiner.

Bendiner forecasts the pace of Canadian housing starts will work its way downward to the 175,000-180,000-unit range through 2015.

 

-- with files by The Canadian Press

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 12, 2014 B4

History

Updated on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM CDT: Replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Throne speech supports Winnipeg, Bowman and Chief say

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Would you visit Dalnavert Museum if it reopened?

View Results

Ads by Google