Why, build more of course:
A big boom in condominium and apartment construction boosted February housing starts to levels that far surpassed market expectations, CMHC said Monday.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 256,900 units last month, up from 222,700 units in January, CMHC said.
That was much stronger than the consensus estimate of 210,000 units that the market had been expecting.
"February's housing starts figures highlight more than ever the stark contrast between the Canadian and American new home markets," said Pascale Gauthier, an economist at TD Bank Financial Group.
But Gauthier and many other analysts expect the building surge won't last.
"The deterioration in affordability and growing economic uncertainty should gradually slow home building activity in the months ahead," said a commentary from BMO Capital Markets.
The CMHC also said it's unlikely the torrid pace will continue.
"Despite this sizeable growth in February, we continue to expect that the trend in housing starts will decrease gradually between now and the end of 2008," said Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC's market analysis centre.
Construction of urban multiple-family units jumped 30.3 per cent to 140,700 units in February, while singles rose 1.8 per cent to 83,000 units. The overall seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts increased 18.0 per cent to 223,700 units compared to January.
Urban starts rose by 45.2 per cent in British Columbia, 26.2 per cent in Quebec, 16.9 per cent in the Atlantic region and 16.4 per cent in Ontario. The Prairies witnessed a decline of 9.6 per cent last month, CMHC said.
Rural starts were estimated at an annual rate of 33,200 units in February.
Every night I go to bed saying a little mantra... "when I get home from my trip people will be rational." One can only hope; it may be the only thing that keeps those who bought in the last six months out of the loonie bin.