Ac­tiv­ity shows mar­ket has bounced back

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

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

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