One business story that was quite consistent through all of 2019 was the slowdown in the residential construction sector. Excess inventory and slow demand were conspiring to make life difficult for those trying to earn a living in the home building field.
But you really don’t get a complete picture when looking at the numbers month after month. You need to enlarge the perspective and year-end is the perfect time for that reflection.
The numbers are quite straight forward. New housing starts fell by as much as half in the two major cities.
Regina posted the biggest decline. Single family starts fell by 30-percent while the multi-family segment was down by more than 60-percent. That gave an overall reduction of 53-percent.
In Saskatoon, the moves were not quite as dramatic. Single family starts dropped by 18-percent and were still more than twice the number we saw in Regina. Other units such as multi-family declined 19-percent for an overall total reduction of just under 20-percent.
The gap between the two was noticeable as well. Regina posted a little over 500 starts last year while Saskatoon topped 1,300.