Hammers and saws continue to be heard, but they’re muted compared to previous years.
There were 14 new home construction starts in Vernon in June, a 36 per cent decrease from 22 starts during the same month in 2010.
“This is consistent throughout the Okanagan,” said Paul Fabri, a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation analyst.
Of the 14 starts, 13 were single-detached (20 in June last year) and one was a multiple unit (two in 2010).
Year-to-date, there have been 65 housing starts in Vernon, down 47 per cent from 122 starts during the first six months of 2010.
The 65 starts break down into 55 single-detached units (107 in 2010) and 10 multiple units (15 last year).
According to Fabri, there is one primary factor leading to house construction in Vernon being sluggish.
“The new home market is seeing strong competition from the resale market. There are a lot of homes for sale out there,” he said.
Unemployment levels have also prevented many people from entering the new home market.
However, it’s expected both trends will ease as 2012 nears.
“Into 2012, we will see the big supply of (existing) homes reducing and that should increase new home demand,” he said.
But Fabri isn’t expecting the construction sector to return to the pre-recession frenzy the North Okanagan experienced.
“Any gains we may see will be on the modest side,” he said.
In Kelowna, there were 60 housing starts in June, down 54 per cent from 131 starts during June 2010.
Kamloops activity decreased 61 per cent, while it dropped 83 per cent in Penticton.