August 25, 2019

Prairie pace to improve

By Marty Hope, Calgary Herald December 10, 2011

Led by Alberta’s forecast double-digit increase, builders of detached single-family homes in the three Prairie provinces will see steady to improved activity next year, says a federal agency.

In its first in-depth look at 2012, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is calling for a nine-per-cent jump in construction starts – with a nearly 16-per-cent hike forecast for Alberta.

Builders in this province will likely start work on 18,400 detached single-family homes next year, down from 15,900 by the time 2011 is over.

In Saskatchewan, starts will likely hold at the 2011 total of about 4,000, while Manitoba is expected to check in once again with about 3,700 starts, says CMHC.

When multi-family construction is thrown into the mix, the three-province total for housing starts next year will likely check in at 40,700 – the highest level since 2008.

“Elevated migration levels, continued job growth, and low mortgage rates will help lift new home construction next year,” says regional economist Lai Sing Louie of CMHC.

Multi-family housing starts will likely total 10,800 in 2012 in Alberta, 2,000 in Saskatchewan and 1,800 in Manitoba. On the resale side of the Prairies outlook, low mortgage rates this year and next will continue to stimulate activity, says Louie.

Prairie MLS sales are expected to reach 77,900 in 2011, an increase of five per cent from 2010. In 2012, the total will likely grow to 79,500.

“Under the current assumptions of economic and demographic growth, expect resale transactions in Alberta to rise from 52,800 this year to 53,900 in 2012,” says Louie.

As for Saskatchewan, MLS sales will reach 11,500 by the end of this year and edge up to 11,700 next year.

In Manitoba, resale transactions are expected to reach 13,600 this year – the sixth consecutive year that MLS sales will have exceeded 13,000 units.

But in 2012, resale will likely be close to a record 13,900 units.

By year-end, CMHC expects the Prairie average MLS price to reach $318,700, rising by more than two per cent to about $325,800 in 2012.

In Alberta, the 2012 average will likely reach $362,700, as well as $261,000 in Saskatchewan and $237,000 in Manitoba, says CMHC.

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