New home construction rebounds in Alberta

New home construction in Alberta continues to rebound, led by growth in single-family homes.

Investment in new residential builds grows 22% in latest quarter, while single-family construction jumps 37%

Construction workers build a new house in Calgary in this file photo. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

New home construction in Alberta continues to rebound, led by growth in single-family homes.

"You just have to drive around into some of the outlying areas and you can see the growth," said Doug Hayden, a Calgary-based realtor.

"There are new homes being built."

After nearly two years of decline, residential construction bottomed out in January and then started to bounce back toward pre-recession levels, according to data from Statistics Canada.

Total residential construction in the third quarter of the year was up 22 per cent over the same time last year.

Investment in construction of single-family homes, in particular, grew by 37 per cent.

In inflation-adjusted terms, construction activity is still below its 2014 peak, but Hayden expects the growth to continue into the new year.

"If you start to see new builds coming back in any market, that's the shoots coming out for spring," he said.

'Some time' until a full recovery

Some of the growth reflects reconstruction efforts in Fort McMurray, but Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie adds Calgary has seen a modest increase in new housing starts this year, too.

"It's going to take some time before we really see full recovery in the market," she said.

"But it is a shift and that's happening across both the resale market and the new home side."

Hayden said he doesn't expect to see big price increases in the near future, but believes the real-estate sales market is showing signs of a rebound.

Still, Lurie noted that part of the city's condo market is still feeling the effects of the downturn.

With files from Dave Gilson