Activity shows market has bounced back
Venture into any new subdivision and you will see a flurry of residential construction activity.
During the recent Spring Parade of Homes, Amber Trails, Algonquin Estates, Bridgwater Forest, Canterbury Park, Harbourview South, Heartstone Estates, Kildonan Green, Royalwood, Sage Creek, South Pointe and Van Hull Estates were not only highlighting completed show homes, but were also busy building more new homes.
New home construction was the beneficiary of an early weather break thanks to an unseasonably warm March. Although rain has recently slowed things down a bit, demand is still high in Winnipeg and Manitoba.
Residential building permits are considerably ahead of last year.
The first four months of 2009 found us still mired in a recession.
Still, this year’s activity sends a positive message concerning confidence in the economy and the residential con- struction industry.
In Manitoba, residential permits are up 53.66 per cent over last year.
Single-family detached construction makes up 80 per cent of that market, although multi-family housing has more than doubled last year’s pace.
In Winnipeg, multi-family permits represented 17 per cent of the market at this point last year. In 2010, that percentage has grown to almost 25 per cent, as this sector has experienced a rejuvenation of sorts. As a whole, residential permits are up 72.38 per cent over last year.
What does all this mean? In part, it signifies that we’re back to business as usual. The builders and sub-trades are busy trying to fill the demands of the public. The consumer is confident of the economy and is moving ahead on plans that may have been shelved since mid-2008. We may not be back to the lofty heights experienced in 2007, but we are definitely back.
Manitoba is not the only province in Canada to be experiencing this rebound effect. However, we are one of the few bouncing back so quickly.
Residential construction permit activity may not stay at this rate of increase in Manitoba and Winnipeg all year, but the positive signs for the first four months bode well, once again proving now is an ideal time to purchase a new home.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association