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Coming soon in the Greens on Gardiner subdivision, Gateway. This mixed use commercial and residential condo project is currently under construction. more info
Trident is almost here. Will you be one of the lucky ones to enjoy this projects hidden treasure? Located across the street from Gateway in the heart of the Greens on Gardiner this project...more info
IN THE NEWSREAD ALL NEWS
Thu, 20 Nov 2014
Drop seen in Regina construction
With more than 400 unsold new housing units on the market, Regina's housing construction activity is expected to slow by 25 per cent in 2014, followed by an 8.5 per cent reduction in 2015 and a 2.3 per cent decline in 2016, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) fall housing market forecast.
Total housing starts in the Regina area are on pace to reach 2,350 units in 2014, with 2,150 and 2,100 starts projected for 2015 and 2016 respectively, CMHC said Thursday.
"We're seeing a moderation in housing starts in Regina," said Goodson Mwale, CMHC's senior market analyst for Saskatchewan, noting that both 2013 and 2012 were "very strong years" for housing construction in the Regina area, with 3,122 and 3,093 total starts respectively.
But builders got ahead of themselves, resulting in a backlog of 146 unsold single-family homes and 273 condo units by the end of September, forcing them to slow down the pace of construction in 2014. "This year, we're definitely seeing a pullback in terms of the number of starts, particularly in the single-detached sector," Mwale said.
Single-detached housing starts are expected to decline to 750 in 2014, down 40 per cent from 1,246 singlefamily dwellings started in 2013, and fall further to 725 starts in 2015.
As a result, new home prices are also expected to moderate, with Statistics Canada's new home price index (NHPI) projected to rise 1.8 per cent compared with 2.9 per cent in 2013, with similar increases in 2015 and 2016. The average new home price is forecast to increase modestly to $509,000 in 2014, before rising to $517,000 in 2015 and $522,500 in 2016, CMHC said.
Multi-family dwellings, which consist of semi-detached units, row houses, and apartments, are projected to reach 1,600 units in 2014, down 15 per cent from 1,876 in 2013, falling to 1,425 in 2015 and 1,400 in 2016.
"Rising inventory, a slower employment expansion, and lower net migration are contributing to fewer multifamily starts in Regina this year," Mwale said. "These factors will reduce housing starts further over the next two years."
By contrast, Saskatoon will see housing starts rise 10.7 per cent to 3,300 in 2014, before declining to 3,125 in 2015 and 3,050 in 2016.
Stu Niebergall, president and CEO of the Regina Region Home Builders' Association, said the CMHC forecast seems reasonable and agreed that the unsold inventory of new housing units is holding the Regina market back somewhat. "I think it's pretty close to the mark," he said.
Niebergall noted most of the unsold housing units are multi-family dwellings, either semi-detached or apartment-style units. "On the single-detached side, that inventory ... isn't going to be a challenge for the market to turn over," Niebergall said. "The market can absorb that."
He added that Regina still has a "reasonably healthy market." "We're at very low risk of seeing a big housing price correction. But I don't think we'll see price escalation for quite a period of time."
© The Regina Leader-Post
Thu, 30 Oct 2014
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Tue, 21 Oct 2014
REGINA — Average prices for single-family homes in Regina have fallen seven to eight per cent during the past year, but increased slightly for condominiums, according to the Royal LePage house price survey.
The average price for standard two-storey homes decreased 6.9 per cent to $346,450 and detached bungalows decreased by 7.9 per cent to $307,250, the report said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the average price for standard condominiums saw a modest increase of 1.0 per cent year-over-year to $214,748.
Mike Duggleby, managing partner with Royal LePage Regina Realty said the Regina market is taking a breather after seven years of unprecedented price appreciation.
“The inventory levels available on the market right now are approximately 40 per cent higher than usual, which has created a supply-demand imbalance and pushed home prices down,” Duggleby said. “Strong unit sales this quarter have not been enough to support previous price levels.”
Homes listed for sale on the Regina multiple listing service (MLS) are at 20-year highs, partly due to the large number of unsold new housing units, which virtually doubled to about 420 single-family and condo units at the end of September, compared with the same period last year, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada rose between 4.4 per cent and 6.1 per cent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2014, Royal LePage said. The average price of a standard two-storey home rose 5.5 per cent to $441,714, while detached bungalows increased 6.1 per cent to $405,101. Condominiums on average showed slightly lower year-over-year gains, posting a 4.4. per cent increase to $257,377.
Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage, said he expects home prices to continue to grow in the months ahead, but at a slower rate than we have seen in recent years.
“In the seven years since the Canadian housing market began its recovery from the worldwide recession, home price growth has been robust, often greater than the long-term average of approximately five per cent,” Soper said in a press release.
“We are now experiencing a natural slowing in the rate of year-over-year price appreciation, with real estate markets moderating in most parts of the country, a transition to what our agents refer to as a ‘Goldilocks market,’ one that is neither too hot, nor too cold,” Soper added.
Based on MLS data, the average price for a home sold last month was $408,795, up 5.9 per cent compared with a year ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday.
Excluding the Vancouver and Toronto markets, the average price was $325,406, up 4.5 per cent from September 2013. The aggregate composite MLS home price index was up 5.28 per cent compared with a year ago.
With files from The Canadian Press
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
If you want to know why there’s a crack in your home’s foundation or if you have a bedroom door that sticks when it didn’t used to, you have to look back more than 11,000 years.It all started long before human life came to the Prairies when Glacial Lake Regina covered a significant portion of southern Saskatchewan. It formed as a giant pool of water run-off for glaciers that covered most of the province.
Thanks to educators and documents produced by the likes of the Geological Association of Canada and the Saskatchewan Geological Society, as well as the provincial and federal governments, there is plenty of published material on what many frustrated homeowners refer to as “Regina gumbo.”
The receding glaciers created a varied landscape that included rolling plains, deep valleys and vast sections of land described by geologists as “pool table flat.” The lake — that covered an area about 150 kilometres long and 75 kilometres wide, extending from north of Regina to Weyburn — drained slowly but left behind land that was uncommonly flat. But the soil had a unique chemical makeup that frustrates municipalities and homeowners to this day.
“It all has to do with the clay mineral,” said Ulrike Hardenbicker, an associate professor at the University of Regina’s geography department.
The issue with the soil has to do with sodium bentonite, a component that makes the soil eager to take on water and expand. Different versions of bentonite are used for its absorbent qualities for more practical purposes including cat litter and wine making.
“If you have 10 grams of clay, it can absorb up to 30 grams of water. And when that happens, it swells. When it’s wet, it changes its volume,” said Hardenbicker.
So the reaction to all of the mucky clay on which Regina was built is relatively straightforward — when it gets wet, the clay grows and holds onto its expanded size for long periods of time. It drains slowly and the soil similarly shrinks to its original size.
Specific rates of expansion and absorption vary depending on the chemical makeup of the clay — the amount of this mineral-infused soil differs across the former lake bed. This unique clay is anywhere from five metres to more than 15 metres deep across the former lake bed. The size and shape of the former lake bed can sometimes be seen from the air because the flat terrain is slightly lower and differs from the rolling land that’s beside it. It’s also the reason Regina’s skyline can be seen by motorists driving from Moose Jaw — because it’s on the same elevation. Motorists driving south from Saskatoon on Highway 11 don’t see Regina from the same distance because the city and the lake bed aren’t as visible.
The expansion of clay, of course, is bad for concrete foundations — the swollen earth can push against exterior walls or force basement floors to rise more than a few inches. Most homeowners in Regina and other places like Moose Jaw and Weyburn know all about this. Thousands of homeowners have required the services of engineers and foundation-repair experts to help prevent the earth’s movement from harming their house. Bracing basement walls with vertical steel beams bolted to foundation floors and ceiling joists is a common way to keep foundation walls from moving inward.
Dale Obleman, owner of AAA Solid Foundation Repair, understands how and why houses shift and heave over the years due to moisture and clay expansion. His advice is to hire an expert who can take measurements that can determine whether repairs are necessary or whether something more drastic is needed to prevent walls from collapsing.
“The clay expands and the pressure it puts on foundations is something else,” said Obleman. “I’ve seen older houses in need of bracing and I have seen brand new houses where the walls have already started to come in.”
While opinions differ among real-estate agents, house builders, contractors and homeowners, the majority agree that house shifting and clay expansion is worse in south Regina than it is in north and east Regina. However, all areas of the city and beyond have experienced shifting, Obleman said.
While there’s no foolproof method of preventing cracked basement walls or heaving basement floors, new construction methods are helping. This includes the building of piles, which are long strands of cement strengthened with rebar that extend deep into the ground to help stabilize house foundations. Some builders use piles and create voids under houses so that the movement of earth can be accommodated. However, despite the best efforts of engineers and builders, preventing shifting altogether is impossible — construction crews still build “floating walls” when they frame basements for living space. The walls are built to accommodate a few inches of movement in case basement floors rise under pressure from swelling Regina gumbo.
Regina engineer Wayne Clifton said that no building, no subdivision and no municipality within Glacial Lake Regina is immune from the effects of shifting earth. However, the amount of shifting can depend on the depth of the gumbo, as well as the efficiency of drainage and the moisture content of the ground at the time of construction, Clifton said. These are among the reasons some basements have collapses while others have remained solid.
“There are foundations in Regina that have stood up very well over the years and there are some that have done very poorly,” he said.
Engineers are regularly called into to prepare geo-technical reports before houses, subdivisions and commercial structures are built so the depth and moister content of the gumbo can be predicted and the builders know how to best limit ground shifting. The number and depth of piles also depends on the depth of gumbo, as well as the weight and size of building, Clifton added.
The shifting affects highways and sidewalks just as much as foundations — municipalities routinely send crews to repair sidewalks, streets and even lightposts that have been toppled by the shifting ground.
There is, however, an upside to living and farming on land known for abilities to attract and retain moisture. The sodium bentonite-infused soil means it’s ideal for growing; farmland on the former Glacial Lake is considered to be some of the best in the world.
“This soil retains water but it also means it retains nutrients,” said Hardenbicker.
“So in a way, it’s also the best kind of soil to have in this part of the province,” she said, adding the slow-drainage rates also means the land is susceptible to flooding.
© 2014 The Leader Post
Wed, 6 Aug 2014
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Thu, 17 Jul 2014
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