St. John’s is exploding. Development-wise, that is. Ward 2 Councillor Frank Galgay says there are 51 development projects on the books for 2011 – a value of over half-a-billion development dollars. “And climbing!” he adds.
Projects include condos, hotels, subdivisions, and a new Canadian Forces Base. “This is the greatest movement of development in the history of the city,” says Galgay. It all means more tax dollars, more people, and more business. According to some housing market aficionados, it’ll also mean emptier pockets for downtown renters.
“The vacancy is almost nil for residential rentals,” says realtor Harry Stone. “Rents have gone up quite a bit, in some cases they’ve doubled. We’re in a bit of a lull right now but I think it’s temporary. Affordable housing is going to become a real problem.”
“One of the additional problems we have now,” Stone adds, “is the federal government introducing new regulations to cool off the markets in places like Toronto and Calgary. The effect here is that less people qualify for mortgages.”