Investor demand sparks Sask. housing boom

The tight Regina market saw the largest gain in new home builds, up 312% from 1,002 in March 2011 to 4,132 last month. In Calgary, starts rose 172% from 5,178 last year 14,126 in March 2012.

But there were also large gains to the east in Kitchener-Waterloo and Windsor, up 90% and 162% respectively.

Following heavy construction of condos in 2011, Montreal saw a significant drop-off in housing starts last month. Starts there dropped 39% from 24,264 to 14,696. Ottawa-Gatineau and St. John’s also had drops in starts in March of 34% and 33% respectively.

The report also looked forward, and 20 or 27 CMAs covered had positive short-term expectations for starts, up from 17 in February. In the long term, a lesser 12 of 27 had positive expectations.

The following cities had both short term and long term positive outlooks in housing starts: Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton, London, Windsor, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

Cities with downwards outlooks in both the long term and short term included Saint John, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau and St. Catherines-Niagara.

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