Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | March 11, 2010

Housing Starts Up 157%

New home construction slid in February from January but the total number of starts this year has surged past the same period in 2009, reflecting a national spike amid sizzling real estate markets.

Housing starts declined to 234 in February for Vancouver Island from the 391 we saw in January, but the total of 625 starts for those two months are 157% up over the same period last year when 242 homes were started.

Last month’s starts were up 216% over a year ago. February 2009 saw only 74 new homes under construction on the Island, while builders and real estate buyers retreated in the face of the financial crisis that swept over the globe.

New home starts on the Island is expected to rise above 2009 levels but remain below the fir-year average according to CMHC. Greater Victoria delivered the largest share of new home starts with 128 in February. Langford led the way in the capital region, with 41 new homes under construction, followed by Victoria with 19 and View Royal with 15.

Across Canada, new home construction rose to almost 200,000 units in February, a light at the end of the tunnel for buyers seeking relief from a red-hot seller’s market.

Home builders in B.C. and Ontario are racing to put homes on the market before the Harmonized Sales Tax kicks in on July 1.

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