Alberta population growth tops nation – again
Richard Goatcher, Economic Analyst, CHBA – Alberta
For a fifth consecutive quarter, Alberta posted the largest population growth rate of all Canadian provinces. Its population growth rate (+0.6%) was triple that of the Canadian rate.
As of January 1, 2013, the population of Alberta was estimated at 3,931,300. Alberta recorded the second highest fourth-quarter growth in 2012, with a population increase of 24,500. The growth of Alberta’s population was mainly due to interprovincial migration gains (+11,500). During the last quarter of 2012, most of the province net inflows came from Ontario (+4,500) and British Columbia (+2,600).
In addition, Alberta had net international migration (+6,300) that was the second highest for a fourth quarter, with the exception of 2008. This gain in net international migration was fueled by the arrival of 9,100 immigrants, the highest fourth-quarter level. Total net migration into Alberta in 2012 reached just under 86,000 persons, more than double the number of net newcomers in 2011 (42,673) and the highest level on record.
Tight rental markets will mean rising rents across Alberta, and this will encourage many new arrivals to buyhomes. With low mortgage rates and a strong labour market, builders should look forward to an active spring selling season, particularly as supplies of existing (resale) homes are down from this time last year in most locations.