SASKATCHEWAN LEADING THE NATION IN HOUSING STARTS

March 18, 2013

SASKATCHEWAN LEADING THE NATION IN HOUSING STARTS

Saskatchewan saw the most housing starts per capita across Canada in 2012, with Regina and Saskatoon leading the way in starts per capita ahead of all other major Canadian cities.

According to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) Housing Outlook, there were nine starts per 1,000 people in Saskatchewan last year, above the national average of six starts per 1,000 people. Regina and Saskatoon had 14.1 and 13.7 housing starts respectively for every 1,000 people, well above the national average of 6.2 and outstripping cities from Victoria (4.7) to Halifax (6.8).

“These numbers clearly show that our plans to increase the housing supply and grow Saskatchewan are working,” Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation June Draude said. “Our partners throughout the housing sector are doing a terrific job of addressing the challenges of our growing province and building homes for Saskatchewan people.”

The housing start numbers in 2012 build on a trend over the last few years:

  • housing starts are 66 per cent higher since 2007 than the previous five year average;
  • rental starts are 342 per cent higher since 2007 than the previous five year average (the vast majority of rental starts are multi-unit); and
  • rental starts in the last two years are more than the previous 16 years combined (1995-2010).

Other important indicators, including affordability and vacancy rates, are also positive. According to an analysis of Statistics Canada data and CMHC data comparing average income levels to average rent levels, renting in Regina is more affordable than in every other major city in western Canada. Saskatoon comes in as more affordable than Vancouver and Victoria and is comparable to both Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Province-wide, vacancy rates have gone from 1.2 per cent to 2.2 per cent since 2007, equivalent to the creation of approximately 900 vacancies in existing rental units. This improvement in the vacancy rate was achieved even while the population of the province grew by approximately 80,000 people in the same time period. Vacancy rates are currently higher than they were in 2007 in seven out of nine of Saskatchewan’s largest cities.

Improving housing availability and affordability has been a key priority for the province. Since November 2007, government has invested $307 million to help build or provide funding assistance for 4,988 housing units. In 2011, the province announced an investment of $344 million to help create 12,600 new housing units and repair or upgrade approximately 24,000 more housing units around the province.

“There is more to be done, but we are on the right track,” Draude said. “As our Plan for Growth states, we will continue to take action to stimulate new housing construction and create more affordable housing options for our growing population.”

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For more information, contact:

Trish Alcorn Social Services Regina Phone: 306-787-0916 Email: trish.alcorn@gov.sk.ca Cell: 306-536-1479

SASKATCHEWAN LEADING THE NATION IN HOUSING STARTS Economic Development  Saskatchewan Housing   via Prosperity Saskatchewan http://prosperitysaskatchewan.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/saskatchewan-leading-the-nation-in-housing-starts/

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