OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 8, 2011) - According to preliminary data released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts in the Kingston Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) increased in the first quarter of 2011. Total starts reached 280 units or 194 units higher than in the same period in 2010. Strong rental apartment construction boosted Kingston total housing starts in the first three months of 2011.

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After a weak performance in the fourth quarter of 2010, apartment construction increased to 190 units between January and March 2011. This first quarter growth marked the highest quarterly number of apartment starts since the third quarter of 2006, when developers began construction on 226 units.

Single-detached housing starts, which are less volatile and therefore a better indicator of trend in construction activity, remained unchanged from the level recorded in the first three months of last year. Meanwhile, row starts registered four units this first quarter compared with no activity in the same period a year earlier.

Total housing starts were up in Kingston City and the South Frontenac Township. In the Frontenac Islands, construction activity remains unchanged while the Loyalist Township registered a year-over-year decline of 16 per cent in the first quarter.

"Low rental vacancy rate in the Kingston CMA has prompted developers to increase the level of apartment construction in the first quarter," noted Abdul Kargbo, Market Analyst at CMHC for Kingston. Strong youth employment and stable international migration are supporting apartment rental demand in Kingston.

"At 6.3 per cent in February, Kingston's unemployment rate remains the lowest among Ontario's major centres, thereby attracting more new people into the area. This in turn supports stable housing market activity in Kingston," concluded Kargbo.

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As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

Contact Information:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Kingston: Abdul K. Kargbo
Market Analyst

En Francais: Sandra K. Perez Torres
Senior Market Analyst

Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos
Regional Economist

Canada: Charles Sauriol
Senior Media Relations Officer
(613) 748-2799