Regina home builders built more homes in 2013 than at any time in the last 35 years. There were 3,122 total housing starts in 2013, according the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC)
Records at the Regina and Region Home Builders Association show that the 3,122 starts in 2013 has only been exceeded by those in 1977, when there were 3,497 housing starts.
2013 has also been one of the rare years that Regina housing starts outpaced Saskatoon, which had 2,980 starts in 2013.
Multi-family housing starts totalled 1,876 - up 4% from 1,804 in 2012 Single-family starts were down slightly at 1,246 from 1,289 in 2012. Single starts are still 30.6% higher than the five-year average and 37.5% above the 10-year average.
Multi-family housing, which includes apartments, condos and rowhouses, made up 60% of the housing starts in the Regina area in 2013, Single-detached housing made up the other 40%. Forty years ago, single-detached homes made up 71% of the new housing market.
The increase in multiple-unit starts is being driven partly by more young people entering the workforce. Employment growth is one of the main drivers of the strong housing demand. Another factor in the strong demand for rental housing is the growing immigrant population. New immigrants tend to want to get a feel for the city before they decide to go into homeownership.
The number of rowhouses almost doubled to 395 in 2013 from 205 in 2012. This speaks to the growing demand for lower-cost ownership housing and is an alternative to the single-detached home that might be too pricey for some people.
CMHC is expecting to see the pace of housing construction in Regina "moderate" in 2014.
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