The Rural Municipality of Ritchot has seen construction activity fall behind last year's pace. But, Mayor Chris Ewen says it has still been a very strong year.

When referring to 2021, Ewen says it was an anomaly for most of southern Manitoba, noting it will probably be many years before we ever see those sort of numbers again. 

From January 1st to June 30th, 2021, Ritchot issued 148 total permits, worth $35.6 million. Through that same period in 2022, there were 130 total permits taken out, for $32.1 million.

"It's still strong," says Ewen. "We're still happy to see a lot of growth."

And, Ewen says to see this sort of activity in a year when his municipality endured a major flood, is gratifying.

"To see the continued growth after a significant event like the flood of 2022 that we just had, it's nice to see it continue," he adds. "It's nice to see the sustainability and that people can trust in the resilience of Ritchot."

He notes the residents of Ritchot need to be thanked for sticking through the "storm," and letting their neighbours know that even though they are located in a flood zone, it is still a great municipality to call home. 

When comparing permits taken out for single-family dwellings, the total so far for 2022 is slightly less than 2021. There have been 44 in 2022, compared to 47 a year ago. This year there have been 25 in Grande Pointe, 17 in St. Adolphe and one in both Ste. Agathe and Howden.

"We're seeing close to a million dollar homes built in Ritchot now," says Ewen. "And that's around that Grande Pointe region. It seems to be the new place to build."

In fact, the average dollar value per single-family home this year is more than $441,000.

In addition, there have been 19 permits taken out for decks this year, 11 permits for pools, eight permits for garages and four for sheds or accessory buildings. 

Meanwhile, Ewen was asked whether he thinks the Bank of Canada's decision earlier this month to raise interest rates by a full percentage point might slow down housing activity in his municipality. Ewen says he is definitely concerned with how much higher the interest rates might go, noting an average mortgage payment these days might be $300 more each month.

"It's a lot of money for the average person to bite," he suggests. "And it concerns me what the government is going to do to maybe regulate it or maybe at least to monitor the situation."