indicatorThe Twenty-Four

Framing up to be a good quarter

Housing starts hold steady in November

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 18 December 2023 1 min read

The number of November housing starts* in Alberta held steady from the month prior.

At 40,900 (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate), starts in November ticked up by 2.4% from October, but posted an impressive 29% jump compared to November 2022.

While activity has been largely driven by gains in Calgary so far this year, November starts in Edmonton were nearly double the depressed level posted the same month last year.

Housing starts tend to jump around and so it is useful to look at the six-month moving average (see the chart below). This measure points to an upward trend since summer.

Even with the recent improvement, it looks like 2023 housing starts will come in a little lower than they were last year due to a sluggish first half. The total number of starts from January to November was 6.1% below where things stood at the same point last year.

As outlined in our recently released economic outlook, we expect housing demand to be buoyed in Alberta by our rising population levels and housing starts to average 39,100 units in 2024, which is close to the current monthly pace. 

*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.

Answer to the previous trivia question: Known as the “Bill of Rights,” the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified as a single unit on December 15, 1791.

Today’s trivia question: In what year did Sears issue its first specialty catalog for “mail-order” houses?

Housing starts in Alberta inched up slightly to reach 40,900 units (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate) in November

Housing starts in Alberta inched up slightly to reach 40,900 units (seasonally adjusted at an annual rate) in November

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