indicatorThe Owl

Foot steady on the gas

Alberta home construction gains momentum

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 15 May 2024 1 min read

Housing construction intentions in Alberta posted an impressive performance in the first quarter.

The seasonally-adjusted value of residential building permits* issued by Alberta municipalities* reached $3.2 billion in Q1, 40% higher than last year’s level and the highest on record.

While the permit value of multi-unit dwellings (+44%) drove the majority of the increase (led by apartments), new single dwellings in the first quarter grew 36% compared to the same period in 2023.

Similar to last year, Calgary remains the key driver of new construction intentions in the province. However, the Edmonton market has been making strides since the end of 2023 and permit values jumped 51% year-over-year to reach a new high in the first quarter of 2024.

Meanwhile, residential construction intentions for the rest of Canada declined 2.4% from the same period in 2023, largely due to a 15% pullback in Ontario.

Alberta’s strong growth in residential construction relative to elsewhere in the country is also evident in other indicators. 

Despite the volatile monthly readings, housing starts have been trending up since July of last year and shot up to 45,910 units (annualized rate, seasonally adjusted) in April. Relative to the first four months of 2023, they are now up by 59% year-to-date while down by 2.2% in the rest of Canada

These results are encouraging as many more homes still need to be built to meet the rising housing demand driven by record migration to Alberta.

*Statistics Canada’s Building Permits Survey covers all Canadian municipalities that issue permits.


Answer to the previous trivia question: Durum wheat is a hard wheat—hence the epithet durum which is Latin for hard.

Today’s trivia question: In what year was Calgary’s Lougheed House built?

The seasonally-adjusted value of building permits were up by 40% year-over-year in Alberta while rising only 2.4% nationally in Q1 2024

The seasonally-adjusted value of building permits were up by 40% year-over-year in Alberta while rising only 2.4% nationally in Q1 2024


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