Companies building new homes in Edmonton are experiencing an upswing, according to the Edmonton Home Builders Association.


New-home builders in Edmonton seeing better times, according to the Edmonton Home Builders Association. ((CBC))

In the past three months, builders have seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of people visiting show homes, which is translating into sales, association vice president Sandra Young said Thursday.

"Some of it's pent-up demand, right, because it hasn't been any sells for almost  six months, or very very low numbers in sales for six months ... some of it is people realizing that now is a good time to buy, because pricing is good," Young said.

Prices have dropped more than 20 per cent since the height of the boom two years ago, she said.

Builders flooded the market with inventory, but now that supply has been sold off, and builders are again constructing on spec, Young said.

During the downturn in new home construction, Edmonton builder Jayman MasterBuilt Inc. laid off about 50 people, executive vice president Jim Sirup said. The company is one of the largest new home builders in the city.

"We're just a much leaner and meaner machine, so to speak, and we've got house prices out there today that are 22 per cent lower than they were in November of 2007 plus the carrying costs, and when I say carrying costs that's the mortgage rates," Sirup said.