Housing starts in Alberta spiked in October
New home construction in the province was up on a monthly and year-to-date basis
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 18 November 2022 1 min read
The number of seasonally-adjusted housing starts* in Alberta increased by 19.1% in October compared to the month before. Starts haven’t been this high since March 2015.
Things went in the other direction nationally, with monthly starts down by 10.6%. Starts were up in five provinces, but down in the other five.
It’s not unusual for housing starts (even after seasonal adjustment) to bounce around from month to month, but up is still a much better economic sign than down.
Taking a longer time period into account, the number of housing starts in Alberta over the first ten months of the year was 22.3% higher than over the same period in 2021 and 63.7% higher than in 2020.
Nationally, year-to-date housing starts were down by 4.5% compared to 2021 and up by 24.8% compared to 2020.
Net gains from interprovincial migration and stronger economic growth relative to other parts of the country help explain the recent surge in new home construction in Alberta.
*A housing start is defined as the beginning of construction work on the building where the dwelling unit will be located. This can be described in two ways: 1) the stage when the concrete has been poured for the whole of the footing around the structure; or 2) an equivalent stage where a basement will not be part of the structure.
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