Economic Boost

EDMONTON - Alberta’s economy received an injection of $15.1 billion last year from residential construction and renovation, according to a study released Friday by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association — Alberta.

The study, which was conducted by Will Dunning Inc., a specialist in housing market analysis, also determined that 48,000 Alberta jobs were created directly by the industry, with another 22,600 indirect jobs in the province and 21,800 more elsewhere in Canada during 2012.

Wages paid by the industry totaled more than $5.7 billion.

“We forget the key role home construction plays in Alberta’s economy because oilsands megaprojects get so much attention. But comparing the $12.9 billion Imperial Oil spent over three years to build the Kearl oilsands mine with the more than $15 billion spent on residential construction in a single year puts the importance of housing in perspective,” said Dave Hooge, president of CHBA – Alberta.

The study said the value of residential construction and renovation in Edmonton last year was $5.6 billion, second only in the province to Calgary’s $5.7 billion. Calgary also led with the direct creation of 19,300 jobs, compared to 17,200 in Edmonton and in total wages with $2.3 billion compared to $2 billion for Edmonton.

New figures from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation show Alberta builders are slightly ahead of the 2012 pace for housing starts this year. That means the provincial economy can expect to gain another strong economic boost industry in 2013.

Average weekly earnings in construction were $1,301 — significantly higher than the $1,146 average for all industries in Alberta.

“In a year when the Alberta government is struggling with lower resource prices, it is important to recognize that residential construction is a key driver of the economy,” said Jim Rivait, CEO of CHBA — Alberta.

CHBA — Alberta represents over 1,500 members including new home builders, renovators, developers, trade and supply companies, and professional services.

From the Edmonton Journal



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