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Record number of new homes sitting vacant

Record number of new homes sitting vacant

Posted on: 3/1/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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For the fifth month in a row, the number of vacant new homes reached a record high in Edmonton. The number of completed but unabsorbed houses sat at 1,941 in January. Compared to last year, this number is 63 per cent higher. It’s also 7.5 per cent higher than the previous record set in December.

Alberta’s capital isn’t the only city experiencing a drastic rise in the amount of new, empty homes. Vacant housing in Calgary is touching record levels, too. In January, the number of completed but unabsorbed homes reached 891. This number was close to the record reached back in 2001 and has grown 39 per cent from one year ago.

Several factors help explain the glut of new housing in the province including the uncertainty Alberta’s economy is experiencing, tough labour market conditions, stagnant wages, higher mortgage rates and tougher federal mortgage financing rules.

Those searching for new homes to buy are likely going to find more deals this year. Last year, the value of homes sold across Alberta fell nearly ten per cent. With the number of completed but vacant homes touching record highs to start the year, it’s likely prices could drop further in 2019.

Unabsorbed housing, graph

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