Interest rate hikes throughout the past year have had a definite impact on building activity in the MSTW Planning District.
MSTW General Manager, Glen Wieler, noted as the year progressed into late summer and fall in 2022, activity slowly faded away. Wieler adds some of the slowdown is consistent with seasonal trends. However, he says this slowdown is a little more than they historically see, with the lack of activity that's happening.
"We're seeing single-family dwellings about half across the region, number of builds compared to a year ago from 2021 to 2022," said Wieler. "Previously, when interest rates were low, people were confident in building houses, renovating their houses, and now that interest rates have jumped, that's kind of just slowed all of the construction industry almost across the board, just with the amount of activity that's happening."
When talking to their peers outside of the MSTW area, Wieler says they are having the same slowdown. "So we're not unique in the province that we're the only area that is doing less."
As the need for single-family housing continues in the growing MSTW region, Wieler said he's not very concerned about the building slowdown in that sector. He said that's due to the steady development in multi-family housing, whether it's a duplex, 4 fourplex, or 12 plexes. "A lot of people coming into the area, they don't have the finances to start off with a new house, so a lot of them are renting or buying a smaller unit, whether it's part of a multi-family."
Looking ahead, Wieler says the feeling is generally positive about the new year. "I would say cautiously optimistic that there's going to be some bigger projects happening, and the smaller stuff I would expect very similar to what we saw in 2022. Everyone's kind of wait and see, let's see what happens in spring, because typically that's when the construction ramps up again. So at this point, everybody's kind of just playing it by ear and seeing what's going to come up in the next three or four months."
Below is the MSTW Permit Report for 1/1/ 21 to 12/28/ 21 and 1/1/22 to 12/28/22