Jobs, newcomers and stronger house prices are behind a surge in housing construction in the Edmonton region.

Housing starts in the Edmonton metropolitan area jumped 40 per cent last month over July 2011, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This July, 1,435 units were under construction compared to 1,034 units in July 2011.

So far this year, housing starts totalled 6,903 units in the Edmonton metropolitan area, up from 5,085 units recorded in the first seven months of 2011.

"Housing starts in Edmonton continue to be supported by employment growth and net migration," said David Lan, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Edmonton, in a press release. "A strengthening resale market also contributed to the higher level of housing starts in July."

The capital region saw the construction of single-detached houses rise 20 per cent in July to 582 homes from a year earlier.

Within the City of Edmonton, 341 houses were started, compared to 289 units in July 2011.

So far this year, 3,177 single-detached homes began construction in the region, 17 per cent over the same period last year.

Multi-family starts, consisting of semi-detached units, row houses, and apartments, totalled 853 units in July, compared to 555 units a year earlier. Most — 89 per cent — were built in the City of Edmonton.

Multi-family housing starts in the Edmonton region so far this year reached 3,726 units, compared to 2,380 units started in 2011.