Despite last month’s dip in housing starts, Regina is heading for another strong year in residential construction, driven by an “unprecedented’’ boom in multiple-unit housing, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Regina saw 194 housing starts in November, down from 240 in November 2012, CMHC said Monday. Construction of single-family dwellings was on par with last year, with 96 single starts in November versus 97 for the same period last year, while multiple-unit starts were down more than 30 per cent to 98 last month from 143 for the same period last year.
Despite the nearly 20 per cent decrease in starts in November, total housing starts for the first 11 months are up eight per cent to 2,953 compared with 2,733 for the same period last year in Regina. Multi-family dwellings — apartments, rowhouses and townhouses — are leading the charge, with 1,794 multiple starts to the end of November, up nearly 20 per cent from 1,502 during the same period 11-month period last year.
CMHC’s senior market analyst for Saskatchewan, was surprised by the strength of the multi-family market in 2013. We’re seeing stronger numbers than what we saw last year. At this rate, at least for the multi-family segment, we will definitely exceed what we achieved in 2012.
The number of apartment building units under construction in Regina is “unprecedented’’ in the city’s history. In November, we’re up 120 per cent year over year in units under construction. Apartment (units under construction) were up 96 per cent at 1,885. That’s the highest it’s been.
The president and CEO of the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association, said in early 2013, most forecasters were “predicting a good year in housing starts, but not close to the record 3,093 starts attained in 2012. They predicted a pretty solid market of 2,400 housing starts for 2013 for Regina CMA (census metropolitan area),’’ he said.
The market has clearly moved significantly past this mark some time ago and will finish above the 3,000 mark.
Even single-family housing starts are above the longtime average, with single detached homes have been slightly lower year to date than they were in 2012; however, (they) are still over 28 per cent higher than the five-year average and 43 per cent above the 10- year average.