TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 8, 2011) - Preliminary data for March 2011 released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for the St.Catharines-Niagara Census Metropolitan Area(i) (CMA) show a decline in total housing starts to 92 units from 99 units a year earlier. This follows two months of declines compared to the same period last year. March results for Niagara Region show a decline of 16 percent from same time last year.

Total starts for St.Catharines-Niagara CMA were down seven per cent this month, mainly because of fewer row housing starts. There were 136 row housing starts in the first quarter 2010 compared to only 26 this quarter. As a result, total starts declined 34 per cent from January-March 2010. Housing starts for single-detached homes increased for a second straight month. Builders broke ground for 62 new single-detached homes compared to 38 in March 2010.

"There has been more activity this month for single-detached homes in some municipalities like Thorold and Niagara-on-the-Lake," said Anthony Adrien, Market Analyst with CMHC. "However, because of the easing in housing demand, we are continuing to see fewer townhome starts in other municipalities, like St.Catharines and Lincoln, than we did at the same time last year," added Adrien.

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As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of 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 vital decisions.

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(i) Statistics Canada defines a census metropolitan area (CMA) as one or more adjacent municipalities integrated with an urban core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more must live in the urban core.

Contact Information:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Local: Anthony Adrien
(416) 250-3234

En francais: Anthony Adrien
(416) 250-3234

Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos
(416) 218-3407

Canada: Charles Sauriol
(613) 748-2799