Posted by & filed under BC Real Estate Update, Prestigious, Victoria Real Estate Update.

This past January saw fewer houses being built then the same month last year. This is in contrast to the national scene where new home construction is up more than 20%. Is it starting to cool off? Or is it taking a breather? Over the past few years we have seen a boom in new housing starts in Victoria BC. One has to expect that the trend can’t continue for ever.

In January there were 317 new homes under construction compared to 348 in January 2007 the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corp said on Friday.

 For more information on the current housing starts please read the article below by Carla Wilson fro the Time Colonist

“Our forecast is that housing starts will be slightly below the 2007 level this year but nothing significant,” said Peggy Prill, a senior market analyst for the federal agency in Victoria.

The single-family house market remains strong with 134 starts in January, up from 98 in January 2007. “These houses offer higher customization to consumers and a higher level of flexibility to builders,” Prill said. “The market for high-end housing seems to be quite strong.”

This includes not only single-family homes but condominiums as well, added Prill.

Construction of multi-family units — mostly condominiums and apartments — slid to 183 units last month from 249 in December.

Across the Island, multi-family homebuilding slowed slightly in January,” Prill said. “The growing cost of construction and complexities of financing new developments have dampened the development of denser housing forms.”

Major local construction starts included 90 apartment units in Victoria and 22 apartments in Colwood, as well as 17 single-family homes in Langford.

The national increase in starts last month beat expectations and reversed a downward trend in the previous month. Many analysts had expected 210,000 housing starts in January.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate was 222,700 units last month, up from 184,700 units in December.

“Historically low mortgage rates, solid employment and income growth as well as a high level of consumer confidence continue to underpin the high level of housing starts,” said Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. chief economist Bob Dugan.

“Housing starts in January returned to a level more consistent with our expectation that housing starts will total 211,700 units in 2008, remaining above the 200,000 mark for the seventh consecutive year.”

The rate of urban starts rose 25.2 per cent to 189,500 units. Multiple-unit dwellings surged 64.1 per cent to 108,000 units, while single units fell 4.8 per cent to 81,500.

Urban starts were up 43.7 per cent in Ontario, 22.4 per cent in Quebec, 19.4 per cent in the Prairies and 17.5 per cent in British Columbia.

Meanwhile, the Atlantic region declined 17.4 per cent in January.

January’s rebound in housing starts proved that December’s report was affected by harsh winter weather,” said Marc Pinsonneault of National Bank Financial.

“In particular, January’s large increase in multiple starts just brought them back to a normal level. Multiple starts used to be volatile on a monthly basis, but their yearly level has been quite stable in the last four years,” he said.

“Looking ahead, we do not expect housing starts to fall below 200K units in 2008, which remains a high level of activity.”

Pascal Gauthier, TD Bank economist, said: “Residential construction should remain one of the bright spots in the domestic economy, helping to limit (but not eliminate) the extent to which the U.S. slowdown acts as a drag to overall economic growth.”

We would ove to hear your thoughts on this article and what you think the trend will be for 2008. In the meantime if you need any further information on real estate in Victoria BC cush as new house or condo constrcution please do not hesitate to contact us 

Cheers BillBill Ethier B.Sc – REALTOR®

Properties in Victoria Professionals – Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty

Bill has been a REALTOR® in Victoria since 2006. Originally from the Vancouver area, Bill moved to Victoria to attend the University of Victoria where he received his Bachelor of Science. Not only does Bill have a wealth of real estate knowledge he is also an active member of the community. He is a member of Triple Shot Cycling Club, Island Road Racers and is the Race Director for the Sooke River 10K.

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