Terri Stephens | 403-827-4663

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Alberta's housing market has continued to outshine the national average whether it's in home prices, sales or affordability. However, one expert is using a different term to describe the highly popular Alberta mortgages.

Todd Hirsch, economist with ATB Financial, recently told Sun News Network that the housing market in Alberta is balanced. He added that in February, homebuilders began construction on 33,337 homes, up from 29,300 when compared to January and flat when compared to each month last year.

In its heyday of 2008, Alberta was adding nearly 50,000 homes each month, and Hirsch said that's too much. Once the recession sank its teeth in during 2009, the housing market essentially collapsed.

"Since that time, things have improved," Hirsch said. "Even though 2011 was another boom year for Alberta's economy, homebuilders showed a bit more constraint – housing starts climbed their way back to the five-year average, but never spiked too much higher than that. This time around, builders have avoided a glut of inventory on the market."

A separate report by TD economics showed that western Canada had stronger economies, better unemployment rates and more home sales when compared to eastern Canada, with Alberta mortgages driving growth.


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