Developers respond to Fredericton’s significant demand for new housing

Development has soared to new record-high levels in the first half of 2022

Building permit numbers for the first half of 2022 indicates that development activity in Fredericton has soared to new record-high levels.  From January to June 2022, the total value of all newly permitted construction activity was $134.6 million, up $20.3 million from last year’s record levels and almost double Fredericton’s ten-year average.

The Fredericton development community continues to respond to the community’s significant population growth by delivering new housing supply.  The total value of residential construction in the first six months of 2022 was $88.3 million, up $11.9 million from the first half of 2021.

Single detached dwellings were up from 47 in the first half of 2021 to 80 in the first half of 2022. A total of 379 multiple units were constructed in the first half of 2022 versus 363 for the same period in 2021. In total, 459 residential units were created overall from January to June 2022, up 49 from the first half of 2021.

“The first half of 2022 has been record-breaking when it comes to the total value of construction, the highest value of residential construction, and the largest number of multiple-unit starts,” said Coun. Jason LeJeune, Chair of the City’s Economic Vitality Committee. “These new residential units are much needed in Fredericton given our rapid population growth. The units will help relieve some of the pressure on existing housing stock and help accommodate new residents.”

Developers are moving forward with a wide variety of new housing projects. The City is particularly pleased that 170 affordable housing units, under various programs, are currently under construction across the city.

The high level of new residential construction activity is particularly noteworthy because the supply of existing housing in Fredericton is so tight.  Fredericton’s rental vacancy rate is at record low levels and the re-sale market is experiencing a low number of listings, high sales volumes, and an increasing house re-sale price. Data from the Fredericton Real Estate Board indicates that the average sale price of a home increased from approximately $280,000 to almost $380,000 in the six-month period between January and June of this year. 

New data was presented in this mid-year report providing analysis of where the City’s new residential development is happening and evaluating it against the objectives of Imagine Fredericton – the City’s Municipal Plan and the targets of the Fredericton Growth Strategy. The analysis shows that new housing development is aligning well with the plan.  

“Framing this development activity against the City’s Growth Strategy and Municipal Plan, we are seeing that within the designated growth areas, 37% of that development is in the Urban Core and 63% is in New Neighbourhoods,” said Coun. LeJeune. “Fredericton has placed a lot of emphasis on more sustainable and intensive development in our core areas. It is great to see that we are exceeding our targets for growth, especially in areas where residents can easily access existing services, transit and our active transportation system.”

Signs of further recovery from the COVID pandemic are evident in the construction activity in non-residential sectors. The total value of commercial construction was $21 million in the first half of 2022, up $9 million from the same period in 2021.  The is the second highest number in the past ten years and a hopeful sign of job creation and economic growth.

The value of government construction came in at $16 million, while institutional construction came in at $8 million. Activity related to the new justice building, the construction of a 60-bed addition to a seniors’ residence, and several school renovations are included in this activity.

The numbers were presented to members of the Economic Vitality Committee by staff from the City’s Planning & Development Department. Fredericton ended 2021 with a record breaking $187M in development activity.