September 15, 2016 7:58 pm

Regina experiencing a large rebound in the amount of new homes being built

New housing builds are seeing a rebound in Regina, following a few years of a flooded market

Sean Lerat-Stetner

For the past few years, there have been an over-supply of new homes in Regina, but as of late, home builders are experiencing a bit of a boom.

“We had a very, very slow start to the year. The first two quarters were nothing short of abysmal,” Munro Homes Ltd project consultant, Heather McGinnis said.

“Certainly, the third quarter has been awesome.”

According the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), new housing starts are up 74 per cent in August year over year.

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This year, there were 252 starts that took place in August, compared to just 145 in 2015.

This is being driven by development of multi-family dwellings. Dream Development general manager Evan Hunchak said Regina is seeing a market correction.

“In 2012, 2013, and even into 2014 we had a bit of over-building in the Regina market, where at the peak we saw 550 units that were completed and unabsorbed,” he explained.

Hunchak added the amount of vacant units is more manageable now, at around 300. He said his company is on track to apply for aorund 100 building permits this year, opposed to just 13 in 2015.

According to industry experts, this is just one factor in the building rebound.

“A combination of pricing has now adjusted. People have now gotten used to our economy or grown a little more confident that we’re on an upswing. There’s a lot of land available as well,” McGinnis said.

The Regina Home Builder’s Association (RHBA) has been hearing similar reports from other member companies.

RHBA President and CEO Stu Niebergall said now is the time to build a new home if you’re in the market, due to potential interest rate increases and the unexpected tariff recently imposed on American drywall.

“With some other factors beside those two, they’re not going to get cheaper as we enter 2017,” he remarked.

CMHC also expects residential resale rates to remain flat through the rest of 2016. However, increased home building could help the resale market according to Craig Adam, a realtor with Remax Crown Real Estate.

“Most people that are building brand new homes have a house to sell. So when they move into their new home, there will be some new product that comes onto the market, which will be good because we need a little more inventory on the single family homes,” he explained.

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