The residential construction industry in Saskatchewan saw unprecedented growth in 2012, according to the year-end report from the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA), but that trend didn't extend to Estevan.
There were 49 single-detached housing starts in the Estevan area last year, compared with 45 in 2011, which is an increase of nine per cent. But in the category of "all others," Estevan had 35 starts, compared with 133 in 2011, which was a decrease of 74 per cent.
Overall, there were 84 starts in 2012, compared with 178 in 2011, a decrease of 53 per cent.
The Estevan area includes Bienfait.
On a provincial basis, both the Saskatoon and Regina region permit offices had record breaking years. At the end of December, the Regina Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) totaled 3,093 housing starts, a 45 per cent increase over last year. The Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was up 20 per cent, with a total of 3,753 housing starts.
Overall, Saskatchewan had 7,941 housing starts in 2012, a 29 per cent increase over the activity seen in 2011.
Saskatchewan was in first place among the provinces in terms of percentage growth. With impressive increases in employment, income, and migration, housing starts in 2012 have increased for the third consecutive year, and they have reached a 33-year high.
The CHBA projects that this growth will continue. It cites a report from the Conference Board of Canada that says that Saskatchewan is on track to be the fastest-growing economy in Canada for 2013 and 2014.