Michael Kinar

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Multi-Family Unit Starts Increase Significantly

Creative solutions to rental shortages encouraged
 
Information summarized from Canadian Home Builders' Association - Saskatchewan May 9th media release
 
Saskatchewan posted positive housing start numbers again for the month of April with overall numbers receiving a substantial boost from multi-family housing starts. The total starts for April for the Regina and Saskatoon areas were up 42 percent from April 2010 to 394 units. The year-to-date totals more than doubled to 1,372 starts from the same period last year. April saw substantial increases as well over March 2011 numbers with a 78 percent increase in multi-family unit starts, contributing to a 58 percent increase overall from last month.
 
Continuing strong numbers in both major metropolitan areas in multi-family unit starts are encouraging. Coupled with strong unemployment numbers, Saskatchewan is in a stronger position to attract and retain migrant workers as multi-family units are frequently more affordable for those just entering the housing market. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation most of these multi-family units are intended for homeownership, which alleviates some pressure on the rental market. Renters may now have more options to move into more affordable and appropriate housing. However, most communities would benefit from increasing rental supply as well as implementing initiatives that encourage purpose built rental units in municipal development plans.
 

Saskatchewan’s growth and positive economic outlook are attracting workers from outside the province and some smaller communities remain unprepared for projected population increases.

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