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Housing starts climb
The sounds of construction were heard across Vernon last month, but the sector remains soft.
There were 26 housing starts in the community in November, a 225 per cent increase from eight units during the same month in 2010.
“There is some pent- up demand and as you get into November, developers want to get foundations in the ground before it freezes up,” said Paul Fabri, an analyst with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Of the 26 starts, 19 were single-detached units (eight in November 2010) and seven were multiple units (none in 2010).
However, Fabri is reluctant to say the construction sector is recovering from the recession.
“That’s one month’s data. I wouldn’t read too much into one month’s data,” he said.
“As we move into December, as you see every year, activity will slow. There is a seasonal issue.”
Year-to-date, there have been 155 starts in Vernon, down 23 per cent from the same 11 months in 2010.
Fabri says the construction sector has been negatively impacted by employment uncertainty for some people and competition from existing home sales.
He believes, though, that the situation could begin to improve some time in 2012.
“The province is expecting stronger employment growth and that will impact the housing market,” he said.
“But that will likely be in the second half of the year and not the first half.”