Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said that housing starts across the province are up year over year, while declining over that same period in Alberta. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

July housing starts begin to rebound in Alberta

Housing starts across the country surged in July, but in Alberta, it was a different story.

Urban housing starts in Alberta totaled 1,963 in July of 2020, dropping nearly 20 per cent from July of 2019. Overall, Canadian housing starts were up 11.3 per cent in that same time period and they trended upwards for the second straight month.

In Alberta, row house units increased by 17 per cent, while single-detached units decreased by 16 per cent.

It is not all bad news in the province, according to the Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation, those 1,963 total units in July were up from 1,298 in June and 1,572 in May.

“Following declines in previous months from COVID-19 measures, higher activity in June and July leaves the trend in housing starts in line with the long-run average level of housing starts,” read the CMHC report.

“We expect national starts to trend lower in the near term as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators.”

Housing completions across Alberta are also essentially on par with 2019. In July of 2020, there were 2,509 completions and in that same period in 2019 it was 2,497.

In June, the City of Red Deer said that building permit applications increased from 39 to 108. They also noted that January-June 2020 has seen an overall increase in permit values compared to the same period last year, rising from $74.9 million to $97.1 million.

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