New home starts in the Edmonton census metropolitan area (CMA) in July were two-thirds higher than in June, on the heels of a strong showing in the apartment sector.
“ In Edmonton, even though starts trended higher in July 2020 compared to the previous month mainly due to increase in apartment units as the demand for apartment rental units increased, it was still 31 per cent lower compared to July 2019,” says Christian Arkilley, senior analyst, economics, with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
Apartment starts have played a key role in new home starts trends since late last year, says Arkilley.
“In March 2020, total starts in the Edmonton CMA began to recover from its downward trend since November of 2019,” he says. “The driving force behind the increases in total starts in March and April was apartment starts, as the demand for rental apartment units increased. However, in May and June, total starts trended lower due to COVID-19 restrictions, which resulted in job losses.”
The 31 per cent gap in July starts, year over year, is still an improvement from June.
“Total housing starts in June 2020 alone decreased by 51 per cent to 636 units from 1,305 units in June 2019,” says Arkilley. “Quarter over quarter, total starts decreased by 10 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter of 2019 despite apartment starts increasing by 20 per cent due to the increasing demand for rental apartment units.”
Here are the key starts statistics, with month-to-month and year-over-year comparisons, as well the number of new homes under construction and in inventory in July.
July 2020 June 2020 July 2019 YTD 2020 YTD 2019
Single-family 333 347 373 2,239 2,190
Semi-detached 102 94 104 670 688
Row 107 55 126 792 820
Apartments 398 140 758 2,259 2,346
Total 940 636 1,361 5,690 6,044
Under construction Inventory
Single-family 2,633 977
Semi-detached 870 384
Row 952 349
Apartments 5,102 723
Total 9,557 2,433