alberta housing market-1Photo: Michael Gil/Flickr

While a slowdown in Canada’s broader housing market may be underway, Alberta’s real estate landscape continues to heat up, prompting another bit of research to label it as a “standout performer in Canada’s housing market.”

“Housing starts continue to trend higher, prices are accelerating, and the resale market remains firmly in seller’s territory,” the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance’s latest Economic Spotlight reads.

What’s driving the strong market? A robust economy, fueled by positive job prospects and a growing population.

It’s the same tune BMO was singing earlier this month when they released a report on GDP growth across Canada, noting that Alberta’s economy “sits well above the rest of Canada.”

And while job opportunities are luring migrants from other provinces and creating a need for new housing, the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance says rising wages have kept affordability in check — although prices are indeed climbing.

“While housing starts have picked up, the unabsorbed housing stock continues to fall, adding pressure to prices. Likewise, lower rental vacancy rates are contributing to higher apartment rental prices throughout the province, with most regions seeing prices rise at an above average rate in 2013,” the report reads.

Alberta housing market

Looking ahead

While housing is expected to remain a vibrant part of the Alberta economy, the report says there are “risks” to the outlook, not the least of which is housing affordability.

“Higher wages, and low interest rates have enabled housing to remain affordable within the province, [but] a sudden, unexpected shift in either of these factors would quickly offset housing market balance, driving up costs for consumers or suppliers, and making housing less affordable.”

The full report can be downloaded as a PDF here.

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