Local homebuilders put the pedal to the metal last month, posting more than twice as many new housing starts as in July 2012, new Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation figures show.

The agency said local builders started on 707 new single- and multi-family housing units during the month in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area, which includes Winnipeg and 10 neighbouring municipalities. That was more than double the 311 starts recorded in July of last year.

The surge in construction activity was most evident on the multi-family side of the new-homes market, where the number of starts soared to 525 units from 77 in July of last year.

Things were more muted on the single-family side of the market, where the number of new starts was down 22.2 per cent from a year earlier — 182 units versus 234.

“The trend in total housing starts continued to rise in July, supported by another strong month in the multi-family sector,” said Dianne Himbeault, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Winnipeg. “July’s gain in multi-family construction more than compensated for the reduction in single-detached starts.”

July’s strong overall numbers left total starts running well ahead of last year’s pace after the first seven months of the year — 2,878 versus 2,233.


Article appeared in Winnipeg Free Press