The average price of newly built homes in Alberta was on a downward trend before the pandemic, but has picked up some steam in recent months, says ATB.
As of February 2020 — a month before the pandemic hit — the new home price index for Alberta was 2.6 per cent below where it was in December 2016.
The price index barely moved during the pandemic in 2020, but it did get as low as 3.3 per cent below the baseline set in December 2016, says ATB in its economic update.
The index ticked up slightly in each of the first four months of 2021 to reach its highest level in six years. The increase, however, was modest at just one per cent above where things stood at the end of 2016.
The paths taken by the new housing price index in Calgary and Edmonton are similar to the one for Alberta as a whole.
The upswing in the index can be attributed to the combined effects of higher lumber prices, increased activity in the resale market and the durability of demand for new housing despite the pandemic.
Driven by sharp price increases in markets such as Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver, the situation in the county as a whole is very different from what’s been happening in Alberta.
The national index rose over the first half of 2017 and then plateaued until the pandemic began. Since then, it has shot up by about 10 per cent compared to February 2020.