In June, Regina's residential construction industry pulled slightly ahead of last year's pace, with 1,475 total starts to the end of June. This is 3.5% more than the 1,425 total starts in the first half of 2012.
The Regina and Region Home Builders' Association reported that housing starts in the first half of this year have once again been phenomenal. We are only halfway through the year, and the industry has already exceeded the 10-year annual average of 1,450 starts, this is shaping up to be another strong year of increased consumer demand for new housing.
There is some correlation with the considerable amount of multi-unit starts in 2012 and 2013 and the dramatic increase in the vacancy rate from 0.6% to 1.9%, it's clear that the industry is responding to the need of multi-unit housing.
The trend in total housing starts declined slightly in June as gains in the multi-family sector were countered by lower single detached starts. Elevated supply levels remain an inhibiting factor to rising construction this year.
Demand for ownership housing will be supported by an expanding population base, particularly from new and existing residents seeking a lower-priced option to the single detached. With higher prices, slower job growth, and lower net migration, sales of existing homes in Regina are on pace to reach 3,600 units in 2013, down from 3,952 units last year.
Despite the reduction, sales will remain high by historical standards. Low mortgage rates, tax incentives, and price gains will encourage first-time and move-up buying this year. In 2014, resale home sales are expected to rise modestly to 3,700 units, supported by job growth and a modern rise in net migration.
Following an 8.5% increase in 2012, the average resale price in Regina is expected to rise 3.6% in 2013, reaching $312,000 followed by a 2.6% gain to $320.000 in 2014.