P.A. housing slump mirrored across province and nation

By paNOW Staff
August 10, 2018 - 2:00pm Updated: August 10, 2018 - 4:32pm

Prince Albert’s housing construction scene may be in the doldrums, but the city is not alone as latest figures show the severe decline is widespread across the province and in other parts of the nation.

Statistics released this week by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed Saskatchewan had the nation’s second-largest decline in housing starts in July compared to last year. Only Prince Edward Island was worse. Saskatchewan saw a 46 per cent slump in the construction of single- and multi-family dwellings, and a total of 231 units were under construction last month compared to 425 in July of 2017.

 “So far in 2018, modest economic growth has kept residential construction below the levels seen during the same period of 2017,” the CMHC said in a media release.

According to the CMHC, only 75 multi-family units were being built in Saskatchewan last month, whereas that figure stood at 206 in July last year.

Prince Albert actually accounts for a major slice of that multi-unit pie, with the 24-unit condo development going up in the West Hill and a 6-plex set for 7th St. W.

On the single-family housing front, 156 units were under construction across the province while that figure was at 291 in July of 2017. Prince Albert best typifies the slump in the single detached market, with just one unit underway last month.

Elsewhere in the province the news was also bleak. The capital is being hit hard by the continued economic challenges which are impacting housing starts, with just 67 units in total compared to 189 in July 2017; that represents a 65 per cent slowdown. Saskatoon had 138 homes underway last month, compared to 200 a year ago.

New housing starts were down by 54 per cent in P.E.I, and there were drops of 18 per cent and 17 per cent in Quebec and Ontario respectively. Alberta saw an 11 per cent decline while in B.C. it was 7 per cent.

One notable exception to the trend was Manitoba, where total starts were up by 81 per cent over July last year with 723 units compared to 400. Those positive stats were driven by a surge in multi-family units.

The decline across Canada as a whole was 12 per cent.


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