London-area housing starts in the first nine months of 2016 have already surpassed total annual housing starts for every year since 2008.
There were 178 housing starts in London-St. Thomas and surrounding municipalities in September, up from 105 in the same month last year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says.
The September starts pushed the 2016 total to 2,285, blowing past the 2,104 starts for 2015.
The 2016 year-to-date starts also topped annual starts going back to 2009.
But it’s not likely that 2016 will break the annual record.
That was set in 2006, when there were 3,674 housing starts
The September starts included 136 single-family homes, up from 83 last year, and 42 multi-family units.
September was another record month in the resale market, the fourth monthly record this year.
The inventory of homes on the market is down 31.7 per cent compared with the same month last year.
The sellers’ market for resale homes that evolved over the summer is continuing to push up demand in the new home market, CMHC analyst Anthony Passarelli said.
Home buyers faced with a limited selection of resale homes and prices that jumped 5.2 per cent this year are more likely to look at the new-home market as an alternative, he said.
“If they don’t find what they want in the resale market, builders will benefit.”
Stronger job numbers in London over the past year have boosted consumer confidence, Passarelli said.
All those home sales are funnelling back into the economy, he said. New home sales are supporting construction and trades jobs while the resale sector supports furniture, moving, renovation and legal businesses.
The London area also may be experiencing spillover from the red-hot Toronto market, where the average price of a detached home has hit $1.2 million, about four times the average price of a detached house in the London area, Passarelli said.
Toronto homeowners who are retired or nearing retirement are cashing in and moving to cities such as London, he said.