Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

November 23, 2010 12:00 ET

Looking Forward: Alberta's Housing Markets Beyond 2010

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2010) - Alberta's housing markets will be discussed today at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) annual Calgary Housing Outlook Conference. The event, held at the BMO Centre, attracts nearly 400 housing industry representatives wanting to hear CMHC experts present on economic, demographic, and other factors impacting Alberta's major housing markets; namely Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

Alberta will report a substantial gain in housing starts this year and will remain relatively stable in 2011. The likelihood of rising single-detached inventories will cause Alberta's builders to ease production over the remainder of 2010 before gradually increasing construction in 2011. "Already, the number of completed and unabsorbed housing units has shown a noticeable upswing from the lower volume experienced during the spring of 2010," noted Lai Sing Louie, CMHC's Regional Economist for the Prairie Region. For existing homes, a lower level of demand and elevated supply has eased market conditions in most of Alberta's major markets and created price reductions. "The current buyers' market conditions will transition to balanced conditions, but not likely before next spring," noted Louie.

Total housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) are on track to increase from 6,318 units in 2009 to 9,100 units this year. Elevated inventories in both the new and existing home markets will contribute to a slight moderation in starts in 2011, reaching 8,900 units. "Single-detached starts are on pace to increase markedly in 2010, posting the strongest performance since 2007. In 2011, new construction will increase at a modest rate as the economy gradually improves, supporting growth in employment and net migration," says Richard Cho, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Calgary. With apartment inventories expected to remain elevated moving into 2011, apartment builders will look to reduce their inventory levels and increase their presales prior to starting major projects.

Calgary's average resale price is expected to moderate for the balance of the year and into early 2011, as buyers and sellers respond to elevated active listings and slower sales. Nonetheless, with the strong gains earlier in the year, the average price in 2010 is expected to post an increase over 2009, representing the first year-over-year increase since 2007. Richard Goatcher, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Edmonton noted a similar price environment for the Edmonton market. "The average residential MLS® resale price will rise by a few percentage points in 2010. However, most of these gains will have occurred under the balanced market conditions that were in place during the early months of the year." Expect modest price gains across Alberta in 2011, provided the current buyers' markets give way to more balanced conditions in the spring.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

Contact Information

  • Stephanie Barkley, CMP
    Marketing Consultant
    CMHC
    403-515-3007
    403-585-2117 - Cell