COVID-19 Taking Heavy Toll on Local Housing Market

The number of new single-detached homes being built in Wood Buffalo is down year-over-year.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, work has started on 21 properties since the start of the year.

Two of these builds got underway in June.

This is down from the 74 that had started by this time in 2019.

A total of 174 homes have also been completed in the first six months of the year, compared to the 405 in 2019.

The 2020 homes are reportedly averaging over $664,000.

CMHC says COVID-19 and the economic downturn are the main reasons for the downward trend.

“The national trend in housing starts increased in June. This reflects higher multi-family starts in Toronto and Montreal following declines in these centres in recent months from COVID-19 measures,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist.

“Housing starts continued to decline in most other centres in June, including Vancouver. We expect national starts to trend lower in the near term as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19 on economic and housing indicators.”

According to the Fort McMurray REALTORS, the number of homes sold and the average price have been down year-over-year since the pandemic started in mid-March.

From March to May 2020, 94 single-detached homes have been sold. This is down from the 170 that were sold during the same period of 2019.

The REALTORS also note COVID-19 has been the main culprit for the decrease in numbers.

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