For the ninth month in a row housing starts in the Calgary area have been on the rise, according to numbers released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Senior analyst Richard Cho said total housing starts reached 862 units in May, which was almost 80 per cent up from the previous year of 480 units.

To the end of May, total housing starts have climbed to 3,932 for 2010, from 1,547 units in 2009.

“It’s a welcome sign and it’s really good news for the economy.

“But we have to remember we’re comparing with a time last year that was a lot weaker than this year,” Cho said.

“But it’s a healthy sign.”

Cho said while the news is showing signs of recovery, he expects overall housing starts may slow down a bit for the rest of the year, but adds it’s not a cause for concern.

“Although the gain after five months has been impressive, the rate of increase is expected to moderate over the balance of the year due to higher mortgage rates and rising inventories.”