Workers with Laebon Developments were building a roof for a house under construction in The Timbers in Timberstone. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer bucks empty new house trend

More unoccupied homes in Edmonton

Alberta has a record-setting number of empty new homes, but the Red Deer area is faring better than other areas of the province.

The builders’ industry group, BILD Alberta, reported the province had 5,366 unoccupied units in February, which was largely due to inventory levels in Edmonton. That city had 3,016 empty new units, a 32 per cent increase (743 units) from February 2018.

Meanwhile, the Red Deer area had 62 completed and empty units, a 26 per cent decrease (or 22 units) compared to February 2018.

Steve Bontje, BILD Alberta board chair and managing partner at Laebon Developments, said fortunately, Red Deer does not have the same amount of inventory as other cities, but that the local real estate industry continues to struggle.

“Things are very similar to what they were last year. There’s lots of uncertainty in people’s minds — economic and political and otherwise. We have to get through some of those things before people are comfortable making big decisions about purchases,” Bontje said.

“Mortgage changes have had a huge impact on people’s ability to purchase a new home, and we’re certainly feeling the affect of that in central Alberta, just like they are in Calgary and Edmonton.”

Red Deer and area saw a 15.4 per cent decline in housing starts in February compared to the same month in 2018.

“I know in Red Deer unabsorbed inventory is not a big deal, but the flip side of that is there also hasn’t been a lot of housing starts. There has then been job losses in Red Deer when new houses aren’t being built,” said BILD Alberta CEO Carmen Wyton.


Alberta residential construction industry in crisis: BILD Alberta

Annual pace of housing starts in Canada fell in December, says CMHC

BILD Alberta is calling on provincial election candidates to commit to creating an Alberta housing council to ensure the impact of policies and regulations are put through a cost-impact analysis.

Wyton said homeowners face costs from 10 government ministries, including transportation, municipal affairs and environment.

“Twenty-five per cent of the cost of every new home is being derived from taxes, fees, levies. There is every reason to believe if there aren’t checks and balances put in place, that the 25 per cent that we sit on now is going to go up and will go up exponentially.”

A housing council could also create an Alberta solution to restrictive mortgage rules and look at alternative financing options for infrastructure development for communities, she said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Half of City of Red Deer employees earn $75,000-plus, data shows

Salaries of 1,441 full- and part-time workers were counted

Canadian recording legends to rock Red Deer’s Westerner Days Friday

Streetheart, Headpins and Holly Wood and Toronto perform tonight

Missing Calgary man spent time in Red Deer

Calgary Police Service seek public’s assistance

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals… Continue reading

Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Judge finds Dennis Oland not guilty of murder in multi-millionaire father’s death

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Dennis Oland was cheered and applauded by supporters… Continue reading

Golf Canada’s 2020 Olympic preparations on track with qualifying formula helping

Fifteen years ago, golfers didn’t have to worry about making the Olympics.… Continue reading

Canadian women confirmed for second trip to Rugby League World Cup

TORONTO — Canada has been confirmed as one of eight women’s teams… Continue reading

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con with ‘Top Gun’ sequel trailer

SAN DIEGO — Tom Cruise has made an unexpected flyby at San… Continue reading

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

TORONTO — Former Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunited… Continue reading

Calgary Stampeders bounce back with 26-16 win over Toronto Argonauts

Stampeders 26 Argonauts 16 CALGARY — Juwan Brescacin hauled in a pair… Continue reading

Chris Sale snaps Fenway losing streak, beats Blue Jays 5-0

Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 0 BOSTON — That was a relief.… Continue reading

Critics and industry clash over accuracy of Alberta well cleanup cost estimates

CALGARY — An Alberta coalition that says oil and gas producers are… Continue reading

Most Read