Hous­ing Fo­rum proves highly in­for­ma­tive

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

THE Man­i­toba Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion con­ducted its an­nual Hous­ing Fo­rum last week at the Vic­to­ria Inn. There were 19 ed­u­ca­tional sem­i­nars pre­sented. The day started with key­note speaker Ron Buist, for­mer mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for Tim Hor­tons, in­form­ing the crowd about the hum­ble begin­nings of the in­dus­try gi­ant and how the Roll Up the Rim to Win pro­mo­tion came to fruition. Top­ics in­cluded en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in new homes, on-site project lead­er­ship, sales-track­ing strate­gies, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, mar­ket­ing plans, health­ier work­places, gen­er­a­tional dif­fer­ences and changes to work­place safety and health codes. One of the high­lights ev­ery year is the hous­ing-mar­ket out­look pre­sented by Diane Him­bault of the Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. Diane spoke in de­tail about Man­i­toba’s econ­omy and the fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing it. Provin­cially and lo­cally, she looked at the new and re­sale mar­kets, sin­gle­fam­ily de­tached hous­ing and mul­ti­fam­ily. New-home starts have shown a de­cline in 2014 from the record num­bers of last year, with a lev­el­ling off for the next two years. An in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment in new-home con­struc­tion is the con­tin­ued growth in per­cent­ages of starts by the multi-fam­ily (con­do­mini­ums, apart­ments, row houses, town homes) sec­tor. The panel con­sisted of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the build­ing com­mu­nity, the de­vel­op­ment com­mu­nity and the City of Win­nipeg ad­min­is­tra­tion. The panel be­gan with an eco­nomicim­pact study show­ing res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion ac­count­ing for 27,300 jobs in Man­i­toba and 5.9 per cent of the prov­ince’s GDP. Then, a num­ber of pub­lic mis­con­cep­tions were pre­sented, in­clud­ing new-home mar­gins and who pays for what in a new de­vel­op­ment. A study from the Greater Ot­tawa Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion was shared with the au­di­ence. Ot­tawa’s num­bers are very sim­i­lar to Win­nipeg’s. Watch for fu­ture col­umns on hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity. Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba

Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

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