LETHBRIDGE: Last year turned out to be a fairly strong year for home builders inside Lethbridge, but the same can't be said for those in the outlying communities.
Our city went from 476 new home starts in 2009 to 522 in 2010. However when looking at the Lethbridge region it goes from 815 in 2009 to 710 last year.
Jean Greer-McCarthy, President of the local branch of the Canadian Home Builders Association, noted that most of the drop came in the region came from Coaldale. She explained that uncertainty surrounding the Maloy Drain delayed development. She did add though that with a deal now worked out with the Irrigation District to handle drainage, Coaldale should start growing again in 2011.
Greer-McCarthy added that a drop-off in the other smaller communities isn't anything to be worried about, as one large development can generally meet their demand for several years.
She stated that several communities like Nobleford and Coalhurst have experienced big growth in the last few years, and that the supply is just now meeting up with demand.
Greer-MCarthy went on to say that developments like condos can be misleading. She explained that the developer will take out permits to build a large number of units in one year, and then continue building them over a few years, without taking out any new permits.
Overall she stated that the Canadian Home Builders Association is looking forward to 2011, with growth expected throughout the entire Lethbridge region.