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Housing market feeling effects of low oil prices

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Market Survey is showing signs the housing market here in Fort McMurray is weakening in response to the slump in the price of oil.

Rental rates are down 8.2 per cent for a one-bedroom apartment with the average unit renting for $1,984 a month in April, down from $2,061 in April 2014.

Meanwhile single-family homes are selling for about 9 per cent less than at the same time last year. In 2014 the average home sold for $893,710 while this year the average price is $834,209.

There were zero new housing starts in June of 2015 compared to 45 in June of 2014 while 34 new homes were completed this June compared to 54 in June 2014.

The rental vacancy rate in town is at 22 per cent which is up sharply from 5.8 per cent a year ago.

At the same time Statistics Canada is reporting an unemployment rate of 8.2 per cent in the region.