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Changing Patterns in Canadian Homeownership and Shelter Costs, 2006 Census: Geographical differences


The census counted 1,256,200 households in Alberta in 2006, a 13.8% increase from 2001. This gain was more than twice the national average increase of 7.6% and was largely the result of a strong net inflow of migrants from other provinces into Alberta.

Of these households, 73.1% owned the dwelling they lived in. This was an increase from 70.4% five years earlier, the third fastest proportional increase among the provinces.

The proportion of owner households that had a mortgage rose in Alberta. In 2006, 62.1% of owner households in the province had a mortgage, the highest percentage among the provinces and well above the national average of 57.9%. The proportion in 2006 was up from 59.8% five years earlier.

The respondent-estimated value of dwellings increased substantially in Alberta during the five-year period. The median price Alberta homeowners expected to receive from selling their home rose from $145,115 in 2001 to $250,473 in 2006. This was well above the national median of $200,474.

Between 2001 and 2006, consumer prices in Alberta, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by 13.1%.

After Ontario, Alberta had the second highest median shelter costs among the provinces in 2006. For owners, it was $12,190 annually, up 23.1%, and for renters, it was $9,033, a 17.5% increase.

The proportion of households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter was below the national average of 24.9%. In 2006, about 22.2% of households spent 30% or more of their income on shelter, up slightly from 21.6% five years earlier.

The proportion increased for both owners and renters. The proportion of renter households spending 30% or more of their income on shelter went from 36.0% to 37.2%, while the proportion of owners who did so rose from 15.5% to 16.6%.

On Census Day, 14.3% of Alberta's households lived in a dwelling that had been constructed since 2001. For owners, this proportion was even higher, with 17.0% of households living in a new dwelling. Nationally, 8.5% of all households and 10.3% of owner households reported that their dwelling had been constructed since 2001.

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