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Alberta Housing Starts Highest in 5 Years!

Alberta Housing Starts Highest in 5 Years

Alberta Population GrowthWhile lower energy prices and stalled pipeline projects have created a level of uncertainty for the future of Alberta’s economy, it seems that home builders in the province aren’t following suit.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation there was 41,438 new Alberta housing starts in May 2013. This is the largest amount seen all year and the first time since the beginning of 2008 that there has been more than 40,000!

Over the past year housing starts have continually trended upwards. From May 2012 to May 2013 they increased 14.1 percent over the 12 month period before this one.

What’s Causing the 5 Year High?

Population growth! Even with a potential hit to Alberta’s economy looming in the distance, tens of thousands of inbound migrants are still arriving from other parts of Canada and around the world.

On June 7th the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada reported a surge in Alberta’s work force. The figure went up by 59,400, a 2.6 percent increase over the past 12 months.

High average incomes and low unemployment rates are two other contributing factors to the 5 year high. More Albertans can afford to buy a new home and feel secure in making that decision.

Construction Steps Up to the Plate

I love Alberta

One unsuspecting figure from the Labour Force Survey is the rise in construction jobs in Alberta. While jobs in the manufacturing and energy sectors have slowed, employment growth in construction is providing tons of opportunities.

According to the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, the amount of building permits in the first quarter of 2013 increased by 28 percent over the same time period last year. Residential permits are a leader in the figure with direct correlation to the 5 year high for housing starts in Alberta.

For more economic articles to do with Calgary, Alberta and Canada, be sure to check out our Canadian Economic Articles!