New house prices fall in Alberta: report

It may be a good time to buy.

The average price of a new residential home in Alberta was down by 1.7 per cent in September compared to a year earlier, a report by ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team confirms. This was the 15th consecutive drop in the year-over-year price in the province.

Compared to the most recent peak in the average price (March 2015), the price in September was off by 3.1 per cent. As an example, this works out to an $18,500 discount on a new home that was selling for $500,000 four years ago. While this is helpful for new home buyers, it makes life more difficult for builders and is a sign of a sluggish economy.

Taking a closer look at the two largest urban centres in the province, year-over-year new home prices were down by 2.2 per cent in Calgary and by 1.2 per cent in Edmonton. The average price was down by 0.1 per cent over the same period at the national level, the report states.

New house prices were up the most in the Ontario part of Ottawa-Gatineau (6.3 per cent) and in Montreal (4.9 per cent). Statistics Canada notes the increases in these two centres were the result of “favourable market conditions and higher construction costs, which are largely a result of a skilled labour shortage.”

Vancouver was tied with Calgary for the largest year-over-year decline in prices, each with a 2.2 per cent drop.

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