Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Canadian Housing Starts Take A Dip In April

Canadian Business Online: Number of Canadian housing starts unexpectedly decline in April
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Tuesday the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts came in at 211,900 units in April, down from 214,000 in March.
Economists had expected housing starts to rise to 215,000. However, the lower showing didn't dismay CHMC.

"Housing starts in April remain strong and are in line with our new home construction forecast for 2007," said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre.
"The slight decrease in housing starts is the result of declines in single-detached and rural area starts. Multiple starts continued to move upwards in April."
Urban starts rose 0.6 per cent while single starts decreased 1.2 per cent.

This really is no cause for alarm or even surprise. Given just how hot the market is in western Canada right now, a dip like that can be explained by looking to overstretched builders and trades. You can't really start many new homes until you finish the ones you're working on.

Around here, every project is behind schedule. Whether you're building a $300K starter home or a $10mm palace, the shortage of trades means that it is the trades calling the shots. The framers, the masons, and especially the drywallers can work as much or as little on your project as they please. Every person I speak to who is building right now expresses a combination of frustration and rage at the pace of their project.

It's the price of success, I guess.

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