Building permits are down in the Province, but at least one economist isn’t worried by the decline.
“Yeah it is down from where it was, but certainly nothing I would describe as a disaster.” says ATB Financial Chief Economist Todd Hirsch.
According to Statistics Canada released in June, residential home construction permit numbers dropped 23%, while overall permits declined about 40%.
Calgary saw steeper drops than Edmonton, which Hirsch says shows the recession hit Calgary harder.
“In a downturn like now, we’re seeing those head-office jobs being slashed at a faster rate than Edmonton government jobs.” He says. “And Edmonton also has a [proportionately] larger education and health sector than does Calgary.”
Put in context, the numbers from the end of June are similar to numbers posted a few years ago. They’re only bad, Hirsch says, in comparison to record-setting years we’ve seen of late.
He adds it’s actually good that home builders have pulled back because if they kept building, there would be an even greater glut on the market and prices would drop dramatically. (ms, News Talk 770)