LETHBRIDGE: Local experts have told Country 95 News a recent spike in housing start numbers isn't necessarily a signal of an oncoming boom.
Lethbridge ducked the downward provincial trend last month. The city recorded 96 housing starts in January 2011 - more than double the amount in January 2010.
But Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Cheryl Dick says housing start rates typically echo the economy, and the long-term forecast suggests this year's numbers will likely show only moderate growth as the economy recovers.
"Month to month it's really interesting to see what happens, but you really want to look at it as it totals up in quarters and even annually," says Dick. "Over the long-term each year, there have been adjustments depending on whether the economy's stronger or whether it's softening a little bit."
Lethbridge Home Builders Association president Gerrit Bezooyen agrees. He says though he'd like to see the spike continue throughout the year, it's very unlikely that it will.
"I can't imagine that we would see a double increase throughout the whole year," he says. "The forecast for the year is steady to a little bit better than last year and that's what I would anticipate."