Regina mayor defends subdivision expansion despite slow housing market
October 16, 2018
Sales in Regina’s housing market are sluggish right now, but last month city council voted in favour of a plan to further expand the southeast end of the city by 690-hectares over 20 years, which could contain even more residential neighbourhoods.
In September this year, the Association of Regina Realtors recorded only 238 home sales; 19 per cent lower than last year.
Statistics Canada also reported a 2.1 per cent drop in housing prices from August 2017 to August 2018.
However, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere is defending city council’s decision to continue building.
“Our job as council is to provide for orderly growth that’s sustainable,” Regina Mayor Michael Fougere told CBC News. He stated that there “appears to be an appetite for the private sector to have some more land for development.”
Fougere said this is a positive message of growth, “but there certainly has been a slowdown,” he admits.
A variety of factors have been suggested by experts on what could be contributing to this slump.
New mortgage rules were put into effect at the beginning of this year which requires new mortgage holders to either have a 20 per cent down payment or qualify for mortgage insurance. This change has resulted in a 3.4 per cent drop in mortgages nationwide.
Additionally, high vacancy rates and the rental market is also putting pressure on the housing market.
Several hundred rental units are being developed in neighbourhoods which are taking away from the pool of potential buyers.
Slow demand and elevated supply levels have also contributed to an increase in active listings, therefore giving buyers more leverage due to the high volume of available alternatives.
Regina real estate is certainly a buyers’ market right now, and only time will tell when the city can expect to bounce back.
Photo: City of Regina/CBC