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Guelph Housing Starts On The Increase In July

 

Guelph may be a bright spot for housing in the province, suggest the latest housing stats released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

 

Housing starts in the Guelph area were trending higher in July, with construction on 896 new units started. That’s up from 746 units in June.

 

The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts.

 

Provincially housing starts were trending at 58,736 units in July, down from 60,305 units in June. A unit means a household, a single-detached home, half of a semi-detached home or an apartment.

 

Actual housing starts decreased by 14 per cent in Guelph in the first seven months of 2015 compared to the same period last year. This compares to Kitchener, where housing starts are down 15 per cent and London, Ont., where they are up eight per cent.

 

Erica McLerie, senior market analyst at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, said apartments are one reason for this.

 

“In Guelph especially, apartment construction is very volatile, so you could have two apartments starting in one month and maybe not for the rest of the year,” she said.

 

“It’s just the timing this year that there have been less apartments.”

 

McLerie said overall demand for townhouses and single-detached homes has been very strong this year, particularly in Guelph.

 

“Guelph has a very, very tight resale market,” she said.

 

“The employment figures are very, very strong for Guelph and that means that more people have jobs and it also means that the unemployment rate has dropped,” she added.

 

This, she said, is important for people migrating from the General Toronto Area (GTA) looking for a job.

 

“(Relative to Toronto) Guelph prices are lower, housing prices are lower, so a lot of people, especially in the western end of the GTA looking for a home would look at Guelph,” she said.

 

McLerie said overall the Guelph market is doing “quite well.”

 

“There was a low level of single starts because of land availability but it seems to be that there’s more land coming on stream now and that single detached starts are increasing,” she said.

 

Housing starts are considered a good indicator of how the economy is going.

 

The idea is that builders would not start construction on a new home if they thought it couldn’t be sold.

 

mwarren@guelphmercury.com

 

 

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