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Hot streak

Alberta housing starts strong again in February

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 18 March 2024 1 min read

The number of housing starts* in Alberta was over 40,000 (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate) for the seventh month in a row in February. Compared to January, starts were up by 17% in February to reach 48,241. The increase was led by multi-family units and new builds in Edmonton.

Smoothing out the month-to-month volatility, the six-month moving average has been trending up since July (see the chart below). It has also been consistently higher than the national growth rate over the same period.

These are clear signs that builders see strong demand for new homes as Alberta’s population continues to grow and the housing market plays catch-up in terms of supply.

Our new forecast for the Alberta economy pegs annual housing starts in the province at 41,000 this year for an annual increase of 14% over 2023. (The Owl will have a summary and a link to the full forecast when it is released on Wednesday, March 20.)

Even with the rise in housing starts, it will be a challenge to keep up with the recent and ongoing population growth in the province. As a result, we anticipate that the average price of both new homes and homes on the resale market will continue to increase in 2024.

*A housing start is defined as the beginning of construction work on the building where the dwelling unit will be located.

Answer to the previous trivia question: With its beginnings dating back to 1885, Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada.

Today’s trivia question: What are the two “houses” of Canada’s Parliament?

Housing starts in Alberta were higher in February 2024 than 12 months earlier 

Housing starts in Alberta were higher in February 2024 than 12 months earlier 

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