Housing construction in Regina

Although total numbers were down somewhat, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says 2013 was a banner year for construction in the city. (CBC)

Although building permits were down in 2013, there is some "remarkable" news in the housing numbers, particularly apartments, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere says.

From January to December, there were a total of $734.7 million worth of building permits issued. That's down from the $773.3 million issued in 2012.

The drop is due to a decline in the value of commercial and institutional permits.

Big building permits in 2013

Housing projects went up — from $402.5 million to $424.9 million.

"This increase in residential numbers is remarkable and shows our clear commitment to improving the housing situation, a priority for city council," Fougere said in a news release.

There were actually fewer permits issued for single family houses — 1,014 versus 1,135 the year before.

However, apartment units more than made up for the difference. Permits for 3,104 units were approved last year, compared to 2,720 in 2012.

Those apartment permits represented $95.8 million in construction, compared to $70.6 in 2012.

Regina has struggled with some of Canada's lowest rental vacancy rates in recent years. The current rate is about 1.9 per cent.

Fougere said the goal is to reach 3 per cent by 2017.