One-third of homes destroyed in the wildfire have started to be rebuilt.
That’s according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Market Insight report released Thursday.
The report shows construction has begun on 844 units with the fire destroying around 2,400 structures. An additional 200 rebuilds will begin in 2017. At this rate, CMHC believes the massive rebuild will take between three to four years to complete.
“The rate that these houses have been going up is very surprising and is a testament to Fort McMurray,” Market Analyst with CMHC Timothy Gensey tells Mix News. “One of the things that analyst feared would happen is people would just give up and leave Fort McMurray, but that doesn’t seem to be happening right now.”
Gensey says vacancy rates have declined from high levels of 30 per cent in 2015 to 17 per cent, which is mostly due to people displaced from their homes taking up temporary residence in the rental market.
Vacancy rates are expected to continue falling to about 10 per cent now that construction workers are coming up to Fort McMurray from around the province to help with the rebuild, according to Gensey.
As people move back to their rebuilt homes, Gensey says they expect the vacancy rate to have some upwards pressure but that will depend on the energy market.
The report also notes the resale market is continuing to take big hits with no bright side expected until the energy markets stabilize.