Condo boom causes jump in housing starts

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A more than 100-fold increase in apartment-style condo construction propelled overall housing start numbers higher in May, according to numbers released Friday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

Apartment-style condos recorded 1,369 starts recorded in May 2012. Last year, that figure was 13.

This pushed the overall number of starts in the region to 1,595, up 500 per cent from 266 in the same month last year.

The CMHC stated the condo boom will not last, saying slower growth for that kind of construction is expected for the rest of the year "given the synchronicity with which builders poured new apartment foundations in May."

While condos experienced a large jolt in starts, other forms of multi-family housing declined.

Row houses fell more than 41 per cent to 57 starts, and semi-detached units fell about 31 per cent to 22 starts.

Singles bumped up to 147 starts, up 20 per cent from last year.

On a year-to-date basis, starts are up 75 per cent, with 3,170 recorded so far in 2012.