Few housing starts for Moose Jaw in 2015: CMHC

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Over the past 11 years, Moose Jaw in 2015 had one of its worst years for housing starts, according to information from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Construction

New housing starts in the city have dropped by 66 per cent from last year, according to data from the CMHC.

Earlier this week, the CMHC released information on housing starts from across Canada. The data showed a drop in Moose Jaw housing starts from previous trends. Since 2007, Moose Jaw has averaged about 140 housing starts per year, and last year there were 163 housing starts. (These housing starts measure a new home under construction.)

This year, however, only 57 new homes - which included single family homes, row houses, apartments, and semi-detached homes - began construction.

The largest number of developments came from single family homes, which is common for Moose Jaw and other municipalities.

This year, only 33 homes of this type began construction during 2015. Since 1995, the city has averaged about 58 of these types of homes starting construction annually.

The city has also seen a decrease in terms of housing permit values in 2015, according to information presented to city council. From Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2015, the city issued 276 building permits valued at $51.4 million. From January to November, 2014, the city issued 322 permits for $126.64 million.

Despite all this, residential sales in Moose Jaw remained steady, according to Rob Reynar, operations manager for the Association of Regina Realtors.

"We're not expecting large gains or losses for 2016, very much the same conditions we saw in 2015. There is demand for housing, but not as much as previous years." Rob Reynar, operations manager for the Association of Regina Realtors

Last year, there were 709 sales marked using the MLS system in the Moose Jaw region. In 2014, there were 745.

Inside the city of Moose Jaw, there were 498 sales in 2015, compared to 504 in 2014.

"I think generally speaking it wouldn't be a surprise to anybody if demand goes down, then new housing starts to go down," Reynar said. "When you look at the MLS (real estate listing) side of things, Moose Jaw didn't really see anything dramatic over 2015. It was a pretty steady as she goes year."

When asked about why housing sales remained steady in 2015 compared to 2014, and whether or not 2015's housing starts indicated less confidence in the Moose Jaw housing market, Reynar said he "really (couldn't) speak to housing starts."

"From an overall market perspective, what we're seeing is slow and steady wins the race," Reynar explained. "We're not expecting large gains or losses for 2016, very much the same conditions we saw in 2015. There is demand for housing, but not as much as previous years."

Organizations: CMHC, MLS, Association of Regina Realtors

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Canada

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