Construction jobs on the rise

From the Vancouver Sun:

Although January construction numbers are up to 198,600 jobs, it is below the 202,100 jobs from a year ago, and a far cry from the 220,800 jobs during the boom.

The good news is that new construction is on the rise in the province, with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts reaching 186,300 units in January, a 5.8-per-cent increase from December.

That’s much better than the 149,081 housing units to begin 2009, but the construction starts have progressed steadily until now, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. It’s even better than the figure that economists from financial institutions had been predicting.

The pessimistic CREA throws some cold water on this positive news by predicting that the HST and higher interest rates will push the real estate market down in 2011.

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Drachen
Member

Seasonally adjusted housing starts adjusts for the time of year. In reality housing starts have more to do with the weather than with the calendar, so it's only natural with the weather we've been having there would be a burst of activity. It remains to be seen whether this is an actual trend in activity or just an early start to the construction season brought on by our unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

arit
Member

On my way to work I can see quite a few new paper-mache complexes being built at an amazing speed here in Richmond.

It seems as they are trying to complete them within a month! Maybe they want to finish them before the stool hits the ventilator…

Regards

arit

Vansanity
Guest
Vansanity

Interesting, in my little bubble I have a couple friends that are moving away this week. Both were in construction and their last projects are complete and they can't find work. Another works for a glass supplier that worked on most the towers downtown and they have 3 projects they're currently wrapping up and see nothing else coming up.

I guess it depends on your perspective. Personally, I hope they build millions more this year and flood the market with supply.

grandmaster G
Guest
grandmaster G

@Vansanity: same in my circle, lost one guy to South America: "Vancouver is nice, but I need more sun. Also I need people that are real and not so full of themselves."

Another one headed off to the east coast, Montreal. He was laid off here and couldn't find a new job (entertainment software industry).

The third one was laid off as well and moved to the Okanagan(entertainment software industry).

jesse
Member

"In reality housing starts have more to do with the weather"

I don't think multi-million dollar projects, or even $300K projects for that matter, would start by the developer popping his head up and not seeing his shadow. There is too much planning involved. Starts are up because there is demand for new housing again, not because of the sunny weather.

I agree that construction jobs have a lot to do with weather, with developers able to advance their schedules with dry warm weather. I would look for completions to accelerate in the coming months.

Vansanity
Guest
Vansanity

@jesse: Drawings, land purchases etc… yes, are done way before.

However Drachen is right, when it comes to breaking ground and starting construction on the excavation, footings and foundations, they are dependant on the weather. Even in balmy Van-city. If we had a typical winter, the ground would probably be frozen right now and construction starts would wait until the spring.

Anyone even remotely close to the construction industry is aware of this.

Drachen
Member

@jesse:

"Both months suffered from unseasonably poor construction weather which likely depressed starts as well as causing a large pickup in construction layoffs." -reedconstructiondata.com

"Weather may have played a role in depressing December housing starts, economists said." -Bloomberg.com

"Cold Weather Chills Housing Starts" – Headline, the Wall Street Journal

"Cammarota, using a more highly parameterized model, finds evidence that warm weather (say) in cold months in cold regions, does have a significant favorable impact on housing starts." – from a paper called "The dynamic impact of unseasonable weather on construction activity."

realpaul
Guest
realpaul
The construction stats are like watching a game of musical chairs. In short order once the new mortgage regs bite the specuvesters and intrest rates rise and Ottawa forces FTB's to have some skin in the game the party will stop and we'll some more holes in the ground and unfinished projects flapping in the breeze. So what if the weather is good? Hey , its much better in a lot of other places. If I was going to fund a lovenest for my Swedish Stew it sure as hell wouldn't be in Vanasswipe! The close circuit media hype of Vanshithole is running out of lies to tell. I listened to the Big Slut show on 98 this am. The pity party predicted some weeks ago is on ! The 'own the podium' backpeddling is going full spin. Its come… Read more »
jesse
Member

@Drachen: Thanks for the clarification.

betamax
Guest
betamax

I talked to someone in construction management recently who said that his company and too many other companies were finishing big jobs right now with no jobs lined up once they're done. He also said that any new contracts were bid so competitively that the winning bids probably won't make any money. They're just trying to stay in business.

Crash
Guest
Crash

Metrotower 3 is now completely mothballed. All the scaffolding was removed two weeks ago and all other materials that were likely rented have been removed. Several workers were on site up to last week wrapping up, but now there is no one working on site.

Drachen
Member

Everyone sing along with Jim Morrison now:

"This is the end

My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end

Of everything that stands, the end

No safety or surprise, the end"

joycer
Guest
joycer

Anyone else notice all of those tourism Ontario commercials that are being played during the Olympics ("There's no place like this")? I have this fever now and the only cure is more cowbell… I mean to buy some real estate out there. Better get in now before the whole world sees it during the Panam games in 2015!

caps for sale
Guest
caps for sale

I am still a little confused about the HST. Is it like the gst and only applied to new homes? Or is it on all purchases?

With GST, they waive the fee if it's your first purchase. Is it like that on the HST, too.

What effect will the HST have? Will it just bring down prices enough to accommodate the HST, or will it have a cooling effect in general (ie has this been tried before somewhere else and if so, what happened).

I've been googling around, but you maniacs probably have opinions about this!

M-
Member

This is crazy– it looks like BC's building as though we're going to grow 11% in a year!

BC's population is just under 4 million people.

186,000 housing starts per year, at 2.3 people per unit, is enough capacity for 428,000 people. Or, to put it differently, 11% population growth!

Given that our growth is more like 1% or so a year, it seems like there's a lot more job loss to come in the construction sector…..

(admittedly, some of those units are "replacing" old housing stock– such as, 6 houses knocked down, 50 townhouses go up in place, but still…)

permantlybullish
Guest
permantlybullish

When you bears grow old and are living on catfood because the rent keeps going up I'll think of you from my chaise lounge on my twice yearly carribean cruise. I really will.

No Longer Looking
Member
No Longer Looking

Sometimes I wonder if the TPTB are getting ready to open the immigration floodgates again, like they did in the early 90s.

Nonymouse
Guest
Nonymouse

@permantlybullish:

Nice fantasy. Please put your pants back on you're at work and you can't afford to get fired again.

White Payer
Guest
White Payer

@permantlybullish:

Hey, do you have a cat permantlybullish? (or did you mean permanentlybullish?) Because if you did, you'd know that cat food isn't really cheap. I have no idea why people insist on using it as a symbol of poverty. I think you should edit your post and insert a no name macaroni and cheese in there instead. Hell, even Spam is cheaper than cat food.

Oh, and by the way, I'm afraid it is renters who go for cruises more often than owners these days.

Just sayin'

arit
Member

So what indications do we have about the top? The Olympics are here, how about listings? Are there any surges that we can compare to 2008?

How about craigslist ads? Are they a useful measure?

Anecdotally, I am starting to see more "for Sale" signs, but not many…

Regards

arit

White Payer
Guest
White Payer

I get property search results sent to me from my agent and I see tons of "price reduced" AND quite few foreclosures.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@fecalpaul:

Hey fecalpaul, you'll love this!

NO FIRST PLACE FINISH, COC ADMITS

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/news-centre/newsid=4935

It seems that the goal of the COC to come first will not be met, according to the head of the COC.

Best place on meth
Member
Best place on meth

@arit:

Arit,

Check the charts on Agent Will's website, you will see an eerie similarity to the start of 2008 with regards to total listings, weekly listings and weekly sales.

The major difference between now and 2 years ago is that the BOC can't lower interest rates.

Tee hee!

SD92129
Guest
SD92129

White,

Foreclosures! thats where the fun starts. but will be interesting to see how the market responds to the foreclosures at first. I hope you arent crying wolf. Not that I would buy one, but they do wonders for pushing down house prices. Especially if banks are being prudent. Nothing like a foreclosure to push down the comparables when the appraisers are doing their homework.

patriotz
Member

@No Longer Looking:

Sometimes I wonder if the TPTB are getting ready to open the immigration floodgates again, like they did in the early 90s.

What? Immigration to Canada today (gross numbers) is at its highest level ever and substantially higher than in the early 90's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Canad

If you mean that the Feds will try to boost immigration still more going forward – in a time of rising unemployment and a stagnant economy – I don't think so.

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