'We don’t have enough houses': Low supply a big concern for Regina housing market

Despite a fairly flat housing market, real estate experts believe a short supply of low-priced, affordable homes is the biggest concern for the market.

As of December 2022, there were 762 units on the market in Regina, according to the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA)—a decrease of 15 per cent from 2021, and a drop of more than 20 per cent compared to the 10-year average.

“There’s just not a whole lot of choice there for these prospective buyers right now,” said Cole Zawislak, SRA Director of Public Affairs.

A shortage of new builds combined with inflationary pressures and high interest rates are driving the supply issues.

“Folks that are looking to sell their homes also have to find something to live in after that. I think that’s likely why new listings are down and obviously that creeps into our inventory challenge as well,” Zawislak said.

Despite low inventory in certain housing options, Zawislak said Regina realtors had another strong year of sales.

Regina’s 2022 sales were down three per cent from a record sales year in 2021, but up 23 per cent when compared to the long-term average.

“We are faring better than many of these markets and we see no reason to believe that won’t continue.”

There are a number of conflicting pressures influencing the housing market, according to Mike Duggleby, a broker and owner at Royal LePage Regina Realty.

He said demand is trying to drive prices up. At the same time, federal policies and interest rates are trying to drive demand down. However, there is not enough supply to meet the demand one way or another.

“We don’t really have an issue in the market other than we don’t have enough houses,” Duggleby said, adding supply issues have been a challenge for a few years.

“At one point the builders basically shut it down. They had over-built in that period of time … now that demand is here and we don’t have a lot of houses under construction to fill that demand.”

As a result of supply issues and interest rates, many potential buyers are forced to reduce their price points and opt for condominiums.

Duggleby said the demand for condos is driving prices up.

The median price for a condo in Regina is $216,900, up 6.2 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Royal LePage’s quarterly update.

In the same period, the median price for a single family detached home increased by 0.3 per cent to $388,800.

Despite these increases, Duggleby said Regina’s housing market is flat.

The aggregate price of a home sits at $359,600, as of the fourth quarter update, which is a 0.1 per cent increase year-over-year.

“We’re kinda stuck right now as far as the ability of people to move up in the market,” Duggleby said.

Challenges in the housing market are pushing many buyers to rent, Duggleby said, which will increase tenants’ rents for the foreseeable future.

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