There appear to be a number of factors steering building activity this year in the MSTW Planning District.
MSTW General Manager Glen Wieler says the number of permits issued throughout the district in the first six months of this year is down a bit compared to the first two quarters of 2021. However, the value of work completed is very similar to last year.
A year ago, Wieler said because people weren't travelling due to COVID restrictions that were in place, many people invested in their homes and properties instead. This year, people have returned to travelling, so not as many home and property owners are taking out permits for projects like sheds, new decks, fences and other additions. "The commercial work is still happening, there's a lot of stuff going on...like I said the overall value of work is very similar to where it was a year ago."
Wieler said there's also some hesitancy related to the availability and cost of materials, and the climbing interest rates. he said some homeowners planning a project or a new build are being cautious and holding off a bit, and waiting to see if prices and rates go down.
"The bigger commercial projects, they're planning multi-years in advance, so the projects that are happening typically happen regardless."
Wieler noted similar activity is taking place in all areas of the planning district, including Morden, Winkler and the RMs of Stanley and Thompson.
"With all the jobs that are available, that does attract people to our area, people need a place to live. Often, they'll start in an apartment or multi-family building and we see a lot of that activity happening, and the builders in those sectors are anticipating a lot more people coming to the area and they got to have housing for these people that are looking for jobs in the area. So, it all goes hand in hand."