Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 review of construction in the Collingwood, Creemore and Wasaga Beach area

Review of residential construction in the Collingwood, Creemore and surrounding area for 2011
2011 was volatile year for the construction industry overall. A lot of places in Ontario had almost no new work starting and no new work coming in the future.
The Collingwood area seemed to be bucking the trend in Ontario. A lot of builders were able to stay busy but were not able to accumulate any backlog of work into the future.
The Collingwood market has been flooded with “custom builders” as they call themselves over the last 2 or 3 years. The construction market was not strong enough to feed all the builders that have setup shop in the area. Many want-to-be big home builders found themselves without any work.
The builders with good reputations and track records of quality and fine workmanship stayed busy.
New home building seemed to be carrying the market, with the renovation market also being flooded with company’s looking for work, the leads became few and far between. Additions seemed to be at an all time low in the area with people tearing down older homes and building new ones, instead of adding more space. Almost all work was done for clients from the range of 50 to 70 years old. This is a trend that has existed for the last decade.
The large increase in development fees and building permit fees have had a large effect on the market in the Clearview township area. Clearview Township has now created a have and have not society with their massive increase in the cost of building permits and development fees. It has come to the point where only larger homes are being built in that township because smaller homes have become too expensive for the average person to build. Only the wealthy are now aloud to build a home in the Clearview township area. This of course means that residential construction almost came to a halt. Very little residential construction was started or completed in the Clearview township area in 2011. Most of the work in the area took place in the Collingwood area and into the Wasaga Beach area.
Wasaga Beach seemed to have healthy construction year, with many older cottages being either torn down for new homes or older cottages being completely renovated. Construction can be found on almost every street in the Wasaga Beach area, the closer to the water the more work there seems to be happening.
The Collingwood area seemed to have a reel spike in commercial redevelopment with many new projects springing up on the main street; this helped keep employment higher than the year before.
With the delay of winter conditions this year it seems to have given the construction industry an extra shot in the arm. Less people seemed to be laid off at Christmas time this year compared to previous ones.
Overall it seemed that the year of 2011 was a feast or famine year for a lot of builders and renovators. It seemed to depend on market reputation, with the leaders in the industry staying busy and the rest fighting over what was left over. 2011 seemed to be a better year than 2010, which continues the trend from the 2008 credit crunch that saw the construction market almost completely dry up.
Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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