October 22nd, 2017

Local homebuilders leaders of the pack


By Lethbridge Herald on October 12, 2017.

Housing starts in Lethbridge and area continue to grow, despite the decline in other midsized cities across Alberta, according to the CMHC. Herald photo by Tijana Martin @TMartinHerald

Dave Mabell
Lethbridge Herald
dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com
Heading into the home stretch, Lethbridge homebuilders are leading the field.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reports housing starts in Lethbridge and area continue to accelerate even though they’ve declined in Alberta’s other midsized cities.
With 365 single-family homes and 175 multi-family units started over the year’s first nine months, the CMHC reports the area’s 540 housing starts outdistance construction in Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat.
Improving market conditions in Edmonton and Calgary, however, have allowed those cities’ home-building companies to step up the pace.
In the Lethbridge market, those 540 starts represent a significant increase from 480 at the three-quarter post last year. City officials indicate 310 of the single-family homes launched inside city limits were valued at $43.6 million.
Nineteen new condo or apartment projects were valued at $15.8 million. The multi-family numbers also include duplexes, row housing and secondary suites.
Elsewhere in the city, officials report $26 million in commercial premises renovations, $38.5 million worth of alterations and additions to government or institutional buildings and $129 million in new institutional construction.
Near-record housing starts are also reported in Fort McMurray, with 765 single-family and 456 multi-family units started over the first nine months to replace homes lost to that city’s devastating wildfire.
In contrast, this year’s combined housing starts have fallen to 181 from 309 in the Red Deer census area, to 151 from 178 in Grande Prairie and to 93 from 125 in Medicine Hat.
Calgary and area communities have rebounded from 6,898 starts in 2016 to 8,394 over the same period this year — 5,095 of them multi-family units. Metro Edmonton is doing even better, with last year’s 7,162 starts surpassed by 8,982 after three quarters of this year.
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