As­sess­ing the mar­ket from coast to coast

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

WE have spent some time in re­cent col­umns look­ing at Man­i­toba and Win­nipeg hous­ing starts, both in terms of past years and the fore­cast for this year and be­yond. The record year of 2013 was pre­ceded by sig­nif­i­cant growth fol­low­ing the world­wide fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 2009. How­ever, starts in 2014 re­turned to more tra­di­tional lev­els — still above the five- and 10-year av­er­ages. It ap­pears as though this year and next year will be sim­i­lar to 2014 in newhome starts, both in terms of sin­gle­fam­ily de­tached homes and mul­ti­fam­ily units. How­ever, what are the fac­tors that will af­fect starts across the rest of Canada? At­lantic Canada has fallen upon hard times in terms of starts. Pop­u­la­tion growth has been in decline for 18 months. How­ever, fore­casts for 2015 in­di­cated re­sumed pop­u­la­tion growth, re­sult­ing in in­creased new home starts. The out­look in Que­bec in­di­cates a stronger ex­port mar­ket. With im­mi­gra­tion pro­jected to in­crease, hous­ing should be pos­i­tively af­fected. The con­do­minium mar­ket in the Greater Toronto Area is pro­jected to de­crease this year from a tremen­dous year in 2014 — the third best on record. Due to the length of con­struc­tion time of high­rise con­dos in the GTA, it is dif­fi­cult to fore­cast too far down the road. Saskatchewan has ex­pe­ri­enced a build­ing boom for the past two or three years. So much so, that an in­ven­tory sur­plus cur­rently ex­ists. Un­til this in­ven­tory is cleared, an­tic­i­pate fewer starts. Con­do­minium starts and sales re­main strong in both Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton. Prices ap­pear to have sta­bi­lized in both cen­tres. The fore­cast for Van­cou­ver newhome starts is a slight decline, but the prov­ince as a whole will show an in­crease. As we can see, is­sues im­pact­ing hous­ing and new home starts from coast to coast do not vary that much from what we ex­pe­ri­ence in Man­i­toba. As the year pro­gresses, we will see how ac­cu­rate th­ese pro­jec­tions re­ally are.

Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba Home Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion

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