Last week, the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association presented its annual Housing Forum at the Victoria Inn and Conference Centre. It was a very well attended event run over three days and the educational opportunities were plentiful.
The opening keynote by Ron Tite kicked things off in style. Owner of The Tite Group, Ron’s presentation on branding, corporate strategy, creativity and social media resounded with the packed house. Having been professionally trained at Second City, Ron was able to blend humour into his powerful message.
Renowned new home sales and marketing expert Carol Smith delivered the opening plenary on Wednesday and followed it up with two more sessions. Smith is a staple at the International Builders Show and has walked the walk with her experience in the industry. She introduced procedures to ensure quality management that could be used in any business and talked about the importance of every person in your company ensuring customer satisfaction.
The breakout sessions were varied and information filled. From technical sessions regarding digital safety to mould prevention, substance abuse, creating a respectful workplace and dealing with stress to marketing sessions on service, online sales, maximizing social media and customer loyalty, there was definitely something for everyone.
The Consumer Protection Office of the Province of Manitoba updated a very interested audience on the developments pertaining to the new home warranty legislation.
When ready for launch, Manitobans will not have to endure the errors and corrections experienced in Alberta and British Columbia.
The forum closed with Lai Sing Louie of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation presenting the housing outlook for Manitoba and Winnipeg. This always-popular segment featured a gaze into the crystal ball to enable builders, developers and suppliers the opportunity to plan for the coming years. There will be a separate column in the near future dedicated to this presentation.
For the first time in Manitoba and Canada, there was a two-day workshop on net zero housing. Once again, Manitoba new-home builders have taken the initiative to lead the country in planning for the next wave of advance building science. Energy efficiency has always been paramount in Manitoba, so this workshop on construction technology and techniques, best practices, modelling, renewable energy and other design and building considerations was very well received.
The Manitoba builders who participated are among the first in Canada to receive their Net Zero Builder certification.
Once again, members of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association have shown their commitment to professional development and best practices to ensure that you, the consumer, are dealing with the best. Your sign of quality is the MHBA logo.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) promotes itself as being Canada’s national housing agency for almost 70 years.
Last week, the CMHC published the fourth quarter assessment for Canada and 15 major urban markets. I think we all expected Vancouver and Toronto to be red-flagged for overvaluation.
Looking at the other 13 cities, not much has changed since the last quarter. In fact, the overvaluation situation in Saskatoon has lessened.
Price acceleration in Hamilton, Ont., and Victoria, B.C., has increased slightly over the past three months. In fact, Hamilton, is the only city that has had its overall assessment change rating colours since last quarter.
According to this assessment report, the concerns that are being found in Canada’s two primary urban centres are spreading to other communities.
It is interesting to note that if Toronto and Vancouver were excluded from the study, then the increase in house prices across the country would have only been six per cent as opposed to 11 per cent. In fact, if one excludes Ontario and British Columbia, house prices decreased by three per cent across the eight other provinces combined. Once again, two provinces and two cities appear to be all that counts in assessing an entire country.
Nothing changed in the assessment of Winnipeg. Once again, we are green and good across the board with a cautionary note in inventory levels of unsold units. Even though it was noted that inventory levels have declined substantially and absorptions have increased, the grade remained the same. Given that Halifax was the only city in Canada to receive green across the board (strange since Halifax has been in a building slump for two years), I guess we have to take our solitary yellow and move on. It’s like that teacher who refused to give out A’s or A+; we’re just going to have to accept that we’re not getting greens and that Winnipeg’s housing market is among the most secure in Canada.
Mike Moore is president of the Manitoba Home