Housing starts in Alberta have been essentially flat over the last 12 months, averaging only 21,000 per month. That is down from the five-year average of close to 28,000 per month.
The stability in Alberta’s new housing market is consistent with the existing home market in which prices throughout the province have been virtually unchanged over the past year. Where the two markets differ, however, is that the existing home market has stabilized at some fairly strong price levels, whereas housing starts have been stable at a low level.
Alberta’s new housing market may be supported in the coming months with good labour market conditions and favourable mortgage rates. On the other hand, global stock market volatility and plunging oil prices could shake confidence among Alberta’s potential new home buyers. The next few weeks could be pivotal for consumer confidence.