Septem­ber new home starts in Al­berta low­est this year

Calgary Sun - Homes - - Homes - Myke Thomas CALGARYSUN

New home starts in Al­berta in Septem­ber were much like the weather in Septem­ber — gloomy — says the eco­nom­ics and re­search team at ATB.

“Hous­ing starts across the province dropped to 22,295 in Septem­ber, the low­est so far this year and the third low­est over the last five years. This fig­ure is ad­justed for sea­son­al­ity and is re­ported at an an­nu­al­ized rate — that is, it’s the num­ber of new homes that would be built in a year if this pace of build­ing ac­tiv­ity con­tin­ued for 12 months. The 12-month trend in hous­ing starts is now 0.2 per­cent be­low the level of starts in the pre­vi­ous 12-month pe­riod.”

If there is a sil­ver lin­ing in the num­bers, ATB points to less down­ward pres­sure on prices.

“The fact that home builders are start­ing to slow the pace of new projects sug­gests that hous­ing prices will sta­bi­lize and may even be­gin to rise a bit,” says ATB. “The vol­ume of in­ven­tory of homes on the mar­ket has been a con­cern. With so much sup­ply of both new and ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties, hous­ing prices have been flat.”

The lin­ger­ing re­ces­sion can be blamed for the slow­down, made worse by ris­ing fi­nanc­ing costs that will rise fur­ther.

“The Bank of Canada is ex­pected to raise in­ter­est rates again later this month, and Al­berta’s labour mar­ket slipped a bit in Septem­ber, all of which is likely to slow de­mand,” says ATB. “Given that, a slow­ing of sup­ply may be just what’s needed to keep the hous­ing mar­ket sta­ble and bal­anced.”

To­tal new home starts in the province in Septem­ber were 1,826, down from 2,393 in Septem­ber 2017. The Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton cen­sus metropoli­tan ar­eas (CMA) con­trib­uted, re­spec­tively, 834 and 597 starts to the to­tal.

Here is a break­down of key statis­tics in the Cal­gary CMA.

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