Growth in Calgary housing starts a good sign for the economy, say industry experts

via Global News by Lucie Edwardson

Housing starts in the city have increased by about 20% this year


Construction of all types of homes is up by nearly 20 per cent in Calgary this year. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

Housing starts in Calgary have increased by about 20 per cent since the beginning of the year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s latest report, and industry experts say it’s a good sign for the economy.

The Housing Supply report for Canadian metropolitan areas released this month found that Calgary saw a higher number of housing starts for all types of homes compared with the first half of 2021.

Single-detached starts increased by 12 per cent in that time period, with most occurring in new developments closer to the city’s edge, with the highest concentration near Skyview Ranch and Saddle Ridge in the northeast.

Single-detached starts grew similarly in the city’s southeast, where inventories of completed and unsold homes reflect a sustained demand for housing as inventories fell to levels last seen in early 2015.

Apartment starts show the most significant growth, with construction up by almost 30 per cent and taking up a higher-than-average share of total new construction.

“This is pretty interesting because all these apartment starts are essentially what we normally see in hotter times in Alberta when you compare it to 2014,” said senior analyst Michael Mak.

“So it of course really reflects optimism that people are expecting more people to come to Alberta and for there to be more jobs available.”

Michael Mak, senior analyst with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, says Calgarians can expect lots of new rental units to be built this year. (CMHC)

Mak said rental apartment units made up a record high of nearly half of total apartment units started so far this year, up from 40 per cent in 2021.

“The rental market in Calgary is much hotter than what we saw in 2019 and 2020, and of course that is from a lot of people moving to the city, which means lower vacancy