Study in­di­cates con­tin­ued growth in Man­i­toba

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

IRE­CENTLY at­tended a ses­sion at a na­tional meet­ing that dealt with fore­cast­ing im­pacts on Cana­dian ur­ban cen­tres specif­i­cally in re­la­tion to low rise or sin­gle fam­ily de­tached hous­ing.

Al­though an anal­y­sis of the sit­u­a­tions in Toronto and Van­cou­ver prompted the study, the re­searcher also looked at 12 other Cana­dian cities.

Nat­u­rally, one of the big­gest con­cerns in Toronto and Van­cou­ver was land sup­ply. It was con­tended that both cities have es­sen­tially grown to the lim­its of their bound­aries and that is why they have been grow­ing ver­ti­cally in re­cent years. The other cities were not un­der this kind of pres­sure.

The con­tention was that em­ploy­ment is the big­gest fac­tor in new home starts. If un­em­ploy­ment rates are low, starts will be healthy. Given that the Cana­dian un­em­ploy­ment rate is around eight per cent and Man­i­toba re­mains sig­nif­i­cantly un­der the Cana­dian av­er­age, this would bode well for con­tin­ued growth in new home starts here. In ad­di­tion to em­ploy­ment rates, job growth op­por­tu­ni­ties also play a fac­tor.

Con­di­tions in the re­sale mar­ket also play a ma­jor role in new home starts. The softer the re­sale mar­ket, the less of a hurry the con­sumer is in to make a de­ci­sion. They also have more time to de­cide be­tween re­sale and new.

With a soft re­sale mar­ket, the op­por­tu­nity for bro­ker­ing a dis­count deal is more likely. Win­nipeg has a very tight re­sale mar­ket with one of the low­est list­ings ra­tios in the coun­try. With bid­ding wars be­ing com­mon and Win­nipeg con­tin­u­ing to be a seller’s mar­ket, the new home op­tion re­mains at­trac­tive.

Sur­pris­ingly, the au­thor stated that in­ter­est rates would not be as large a fac­tor. Not that they wouldn¹t be a fac­tor, but not as much as em­ploy­ment rates and re­sale mar­ket con­di­tions. My guess is that as long as con­sumers are gain­fully em­ployed, Cana­dian fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions play a ma­jor role as watch­dogs to en­sure that we don’t over-ex­tend our­selves.

Fi­nally, the re­port keys on an ad­di­tional fac­tor that im­pacts us here.

Im­mi­gra­tion is a mas­sive driver in Man­i­toba. We have been a na­tional leader in ag­gres­sive im­mi­gra­tion ini­tia­tives that have paid huge div­i­dends for our pop­u­la­tion, our econ­omy and new home starts. Our im­mi­gra­tion suc­cesses need to continue for the new home mar­ket to continue to flour­ish.

In sum­mary, the pri­mary fac­tors high­lighted in this study in­di­cate con­tin­ued growth in Man­i­toba with a con­stant eye on in­flu­enc­ing fac­tors. Mike Moore is pres­i­dent of the Man­i­toba

Home Builders As­so­ci­a­tion.

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