October housing starts drop 70 per cent compared to 2017

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
November 8, 2018 - 9:26am

LETHBRIDGE – Housing starts in the Lethbridge Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) took a big tumble in October.

According to the latest data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), only 37 new homes were started during the month, a 70 per cent drop from the previous October. Work began on 25 single-family homes, down from 43, but the biggest drop was in apartments – four, down from 59.

With that decrease, the year so far has seen a 26 per cent decline, from 662 last year to 487 this year. The numbers work out to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 440, down 34 per cent from September.

The average selling price of an absorbed single-detached home was up, from $396,948 in September to $468,100 in October. A year ago, it was $435,071. There was slightly less unabsorbed inventory during the month, 117, down from 126.

Numbers for the Lethbridge CMA include not only Lethbridge and Lethbridge County but the communities of Coaldale, Coalhurst, Barons, Picture Butte, and Nobleford.

Edmonton’s housing starts are down for the month and year-to-date. Calgary is up slightly for the year, but down in October. Medicine Hat, while virtually unchanged in October, is up significantly in 2018, while Red Deer and Grande Prairie are down for both, and Wood Buffalo is also down after last year’s numbers reflected the post-wildfire rebuild.

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