Our agents have noticed a lack of homes available for sale in Edmonton, both on the resale market and new construction. Industry insiders have told us their show homes have been very busy for the past month or so, and sales are increasing. Edmonton area home builders definitely responded to demand in 2012 and increased production significantly.
According to a report released by CMHC today, housing starts in the Edmonton area were up nearly 40% in 2012 compared to 2011 (12,837 compared to 9,332). While single family home construction increased in 2012, the biggest increase was in apartment style condos.
In 2012, there were 5,658 single-detached homes started within the Edmonton CMA, representing a 13 per cent increase from the previous year. Even with the increase in starts, the inventory of complete and unabsorbed single-detached homes
decreased slightly to 611 units in December 2012, down from 614 units in the same month in 2011. The median price of absorbed single family homes was up 7% in December to $481k.
In 2012, multi-family housing starts reached 7,179 units in the Edmonton CMA compared to 4,315 units in 2011. Construction of apartments nearly doubled from the
level in 2011, while row and semidetached starts increased by more than 50%.
This activity can be attributed to employment and population growth. A strong
appetite for Alberta’s energy fuelled demand for labour in the energy sector and its supporting industries. On an unadjusted basis, the primary resource sector, added 6,200 jobs since 2011. These labour market conditions continued to draw migrants to Alberta. Statistics Canada estimates that Alberta gained 24,724 people in the third quarter of 2012, more than double the same quarter recorded in 2011. The gain was mostly contributed by net interprovincial migration, which increased more than five-fold to 13,915 people from 2011 levels.
So, will it continue? Will there still be jobs later this year for all the people that moved here in 2011? The rental market is extremely tight right now, if the jobs last, more people will start to buy homes as renting becomes a less attractive option.