Alberta Renovation Activity
Fort McMurray rebuild bolsters renovation spending in Alberta
Spending on residential renovations in Alberta surged in the first 3 months of 2017, partly due to the reconstruction of residences destroyed by the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. According to Statistics Canada’s residential investment data, renovation spending during the first quarter of 2017 increased year-over-year by $362.6 million. Total renovation investment reached $1.78 billion across the province, up 25.5% from January to March 2016.
In 2016, renovation activity in Alberta declined by 8.3% from the previous year to $5.8 billion, but activity levels started to improve during the last 3 months of the year. Renovation spending should continue on the upswing this year thanks to an improving Alberta economy and the continued reconstruction efforts in Fort McMurray*. Provincially mandated carbon taxes will also encourage property owners to make upgrades to the energy efficiency of their units this year.
*Residential construction has to be on a new foundation to be counted by CMHC as a housing start. If a dwelling is built on an existing foundation, it is considered a renovation regardless of the extent of new construction.