BMO: Alberta Housing Market “Well Behaved”

The Provincial Monitor was released today by BMO detailing how “there is a widening gap in economic and fiscal performance between commodity-rich Western provinces and the manufacturing-heavy provinces in Central and Atlantic Canada.”

BMO predicts that Alberta will lead in 2012 after posting 5.2% real GDP growth last year, as the resource sector continues to fuel growth in Western Canada.

Source: BMO

Are Price Increases on the Horizon?

Regarding the housing market in Alberta, BMO writes:

Housing market activity remains well behaved given lingering supply from the pre-recession building boom.

Average prices are relatively stable, but sales are moving higher (+12.8% y/y), and could soon spur renewed upward pressure on prices—the months’ supply is falling quickly, hitting a 2-year low in March.

Boom-time Deja Vu?

The strengthening energy sector pushed net interprovincial in-migration to the highest level since early-2008 in the first three quarters of 2011.

Concerns over labour availability are increasing, but BMO figures show that the most recent metrics remain far from the extremes of the last boom:

Jobless rate (Alberta):  5.3% vs. 3.0% (Oct-2006)
CPI rent (Alberta):  +0.9% y/y vs. +7.3% y/y (Feb-2008)
Office vacancy rate (Calgary): 6.1% vs. 1.0% (2006Q4)
Non-res. construction prices (Calgary): 3.9% y/y vs. 21.4% (2007Q1)

Alberta Stats

  • Population: 3,818,000
  • Percent of Canada: 10.9
  • Rank by Population: 4th
  • Area: 661,848 km2
  • GDP/Capita: $75,000
  • Capital: Edmonton
You can read the report here
Mike Fotiou is an associate broker with First Place Realty and can be reached at or 403-554-2284

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