A new report by Statistics Canada suggests residential construction numbers in Saskatchewan are lagging behind the rest of the country.
The Saskatchewan Construction Association said numbers of newly constructed homes was relatively stable in 2017.
“It was what we would call the bottom of the trough,” said president Mark Cooper. “We started to see what we anticipated would be a bit of a recovery.”
The report says new housing construction dropped by $10.5 million in Saskatchewan in November 2017. It was the largest month-to-month decline in Canada.
But, Minister of Economy Stephen Bonk said the drop in November isn’t a reflection of the year as a whole.
“Construction starts actually increased (by) 6 per cent,” Bonk said.
Despite that 6 per cent increase, Regina realtor Rob Pederson said Saskatchewan isn’t booming like other provinces.
“I would say in the resale industry – which is the industry I’m in – there was an overbuild,” he said. “So the new home builders put a lot of product on the market.”
According to the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association, there are several factors when looking at Saskatchewan’s residential construction.
“One of the challenges in the numbers, whether you’re looking at Stats Canada, whether you’re looking at CMHC, whether you’re looking at the City of Regina permit report, is that they’re all telling different stories.”
One of those stories is the number of housing starts in Regina. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association, housing starts in Regina are up 23 per cent. The number increased from 1,402 in 2016 to 1,784 in 2017.
The provincial government also said it is taking steps to ensure the coming year is a successful on for the Saskatchewan construction industry.