Trickle-down effect

How economic indicators actually drive the housing market

What do unemployment, migration and oil prices have in common? Apart from being touchy subjects at a party, they all influence the Calgary housing market to some extent. Understanding how and why that happens could provide an advantage when planning a home sale or purchase.

“In many cases the impact is indirect,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist for CREB®.

One part of that impact relates to demand.

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A work in progress

Market sees modest inventory gains, but overall prices inch up 

Sales exhibited stable growth through the first half of the year in the Calgary housing market, but the number of transactions slowed slightly in July compared to last year.

Citywide sales totaled 1,637 units, six per cent below July 2016 levels. Year-to-date sales activity totaled 11,957 units, nine per cent above last year.

“Sales growth exceeded expectations so far this year. Clients were re-entering the market after delaying decisions until there were some signs of economic improvement,” said CREB® president David P. Brown.

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June spells gradual recovery

Stable prices in detached sector signal balanced conditions despite increased inventory

The Calgary housing market saw a modest improvement in sales, along with an increase in new listings, in June.

However, demand gains have not kept pace with the amount of new listings coming onto the market. This caused inventory levels to increase to 6,659 units, which is 11 per cent higher than last year’s levels.

Despite the shift in inventory this month, second-quarter activity continues to demonstrate improved supply-demand balance and price stability. City-wide benchmark prices totaled $441,500 in June. This is a 0.5-per-cent increase over last month and nearly one per cent higher than last year.

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Borrowing made easy

First-time Home Buyers’ Plan offers a path to ownership

A house can be a great investment, but saving enough for a down payment can be difficult. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), offered by the Government of Canada, is a program that aids the purchase of a first home by allowing part of a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to be withdrawn as a tax-free down payment in cash.

“This is about the only program that is available now through the federal government,” said David P. Brown, president of CREB®. (more…)

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Sky rising

Is there a glimmer of hope in Calgary’s struggling downtown office market?

A new report by Avison Young suggests the market may be turning the corner following a brutal two years of ploughing through a recession.

The vacancy rate in the core was 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of the year, up from 17.6 per cent a year ago, but basically unchanged from year-end 2016.

“The first-quarter 2017 vacancy level actually represented positive news as the market took its first steps in halting its overall downward trend,” said the commercial real estate company.

Todd Throndson, principal and managing director of Avison Young’s Calgary office, says the downtown office market appears to have hit a pause in its rising vacancy.

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