Roof construction

There’s a demand for less expensive housing in the Ontario, analysts say, driven by rising home prices and “modest growth” within the Ontario labour market. (CBC)

Housing starts in the Hamilton census metropolitan area were up in May, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

There were 2,727 units started in May compared to 2,289 units in April, the CMHC says. The Hamilton census metropolitan area includes Burlington and Grimsby.

"Both the trend and the more volatile [seasonally adjusted annual rates] measures of housing starts in Hamilton CMA increased in May 2014. Residential construction was up across all dwelling types," said Abdul Kargbo, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Hamilton and Brantford CMAs.

A wealth of townhouse starts also contributed to the upward push, Kargbo says. "This May marked the highest number of monthly townhouse starts since September 2004," he said. "Single-detached housing starts recorded their highest monthly level since April 2012."

"An improving economy, low mortgage rates, and better weather conditions continue to support housing demand and residential construction in Hamilton."

The CMHC uses a "trend measure" alongside the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts to account for swings in monthly estimates and glean what it calls a "more complete" picture of the state of the housing market. Monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates are monthly figures adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to reflect annual levels.

The standalone monthly SAAR was 5,334 units in May, up from 2,373 units in April.