Leth­bridge num­bers ahead of last year

Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - @TMart­inHer­ald

Hous­ing starts in Leth­bridge and area con­tinue to grow, de­spite the de­cline in other mid­sized cities across Al­berta, ac­cord­ing to the CMHC.

Head­ing into the home stretch, Leth­bridge home­builders are lead­ing the field. The Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Corp. re­ports hous­ing starts in Leth­bridge and area con­tinue to ac­cel­er­ate even though they’ve de­clined in Al­berta’s other mid­sized cities.

With 365 sin­gle-fam­ily homes and 175 multi-fam­ily units started over the year’s first nine months, the CMHC re­ports the area’s 540 hous­ing starts out­dis­tance construction in Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.

Im­prov­ing mar­ket con­di­tions in Ed­mon­ton and Cal­gary, how­ever, have al­lowed those cities’ home-build­ing com­pa­nies to step up the pace.

In the Leth­bridge mar­ket, those 540 starts rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease from 480 at the three-quar­ter post last year. City of­fi­cials in­di­cate 310 of the sin­gle-fam­ily homes launched in­side city lim­its were val­ued at $43.6 mil­lion.

Nine­teen new condo or apart­ment projects were val­ued at $15.8 mil­lion. The mul­ti­fam­ily num­bers also in­clude du­plexes, row hous­ing and sec­ondary suites.

Else­where in the city, of­fi­cials re­port $26 mil­lion in com­mer­cial premises ren­o­va­tions, $38.5 mil­lion worth of al­ter­ations and ad­di­tions to govern­ment or in­sti­tu­tional build­ings and $129 mil­lion in new in­sti­tu­tional construction.

Near-record hous­ing starts are also re­ported in Fort Mc­Mur­ray, with 765 sin­gle­fam­ily and 456 multi-fam­ily units started over the first nine months to re­place homes lost to that city’s dev­as­tat­ing wild­fire.

In con­trast, this year’s com­bined hous­ing starts have fallen to 181 from 309 in the Red Deer cen­sus area, to 151 from 178 in Grande Prairie and to 93 from 125 in Medicine Hat.

Cal­gary and area com­mu­ni­ties have re­bounded from 6,898 starts in 2016 to 8,394 over the same pe­riod this year — 5,095 of them mul­ti­fam­ily units. Metro Ed­mon­ton is do­ing even bet­ter, with last year’s 7,162 starts sur­passed by 8,982 af­ter three quar­ters of this year.

Fol­low @DMa­bel­lHer­ald on Twit­ter

Her­ald photo by Ti­jana Martin

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