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Housing starts on the rise in Grande Prairie

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It’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to housing starts in Grande Prairie so far in 2019.

According to stats from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 20 semi-detached units were started from January to June, up from six during the same period in 2018. Work on 36 apartment units has begun the first six months of the year, way up from just four last year.

“It seems that growth is in segments that are relatively more affordable. This might be reflective of some of the affordability challenges that are prevalent across Alberta,” says CMHC Senior Analyst James Cuddy.

Cuddy says the while development on single-detached homes continues, the numbers have dipped slightly, down to 38 from 41. However, he adds that it’s primarily positive, and somewhat on par with the overall economic picture.

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“There has been some pressure on affordability across Alberta, so this trend towards building more semis and apartments is something that we’re seeing not just in Grande Prairie, but in other markets across Alberta which have been impacted by affordability.”

He adds that the ebb and flow of the local economy is only one of the factors they take into consideration when analyzing the stats.

“The economic fundamentals are one part of the story that will drive growth, so the cases that we are seeing increased demand in Grande Prairie, then that might likely drive builders to increase their production.”

According to the Grande Prairie & Area Association of Realtors, 253 units were sold in the city in June 2019. A 15.4 per cent decrease from 2018.

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