May 17, 2022
For immediate release:
The Saskatchewan Housing Continuum Network today announced that Saskatchewan needs to build approximately 141,500 housing units in the next eight years to meet projected population increases.
“Working with an economist, we considered two different averaging systems – the per capita housing average from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) and the current average of housing units produced in Saskatchewan,” said Saskatchewan REALTORS Association (SRA) CEO Chris Guérette. “Following the OECD average, we estimate that Saskatchewan needs 141,500 housing units, and if we keep the status quo, the number was 95,500. The OECD average is too lofty and out of sync with local realities, and we argue the current average is insufficient, so we estimate the number is somewhere in between those two.”
The lack of available homes for sale has become the market’s main issue in Saskatchewan. At the same time, the property types in demand differ across the province. Regina’s housing inventory is still balanced despite strong sales in the first stages of the pandemic. Saskatoon on the other hand has a shortage of single-family homes. The rest of the province has experienced shortages as well, and benchmark prices continue to rise.
“We’ve been watching the housing markets of our neighbours in Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, where housing shortages and ever-increasing prices are chronic, and where more and more people are being pushed out of the market because of that”, said Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan CEO Denis Perrault. “It’s imperative we understand the Saskatchewan housing supply reality and start preparing now to avoid the kinds of challenges so many of our neighbours are facing.”
“Saskatchewan offers some of the most affordable homes to rent and own in the country,” said Cameron Choquette, CEO of the Saskatchewan Landlord Association. “That affordability will continue to erode as the inventory of homes across the housing continuum diminishes, which is evident across the country,”
“Consider that since 1990, home builders in Saskatchewan have delivered approximately 98,00 new homes across the condominium, homeownership, and rental market,” said Stu Niebergall, President & CEO of the Regina & Region Home Builders’ Association. “If it took Saskatchewan over 30 years to build an even smaller number of homes than we need now, the building capacity required to meet the government population goal for 2030 appears staggering from a public policy perspective.”
While some existing policies are likely to improve supply and slow the demand in the short term, federal policies (including the recent federal budget) typically focus on the Vancouver and Toronto housing markets. Traditionally, first-time buyers, immigrants, and at-risk populations in places like Saskatchewan are disproportionately affected by the measures enacted to cool down demand.
“If this challenge does not become a major focus for policymakers across the province, maintaining our Saskatchewan advantage will become more and more challenging,” said Silvia Martini, Interim CEO of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “Both provincial and local governments consequently need to act on issues that limit supply and artificially create upward price pressure.”