East-West Divide in Canadian Housing

While housing markets in Central Canada have “shown signs of fatigue over the past six months,” a new report from TD Economics said the Calgary market is experiencing “positive momentum”.

Detailing the vast differences in major markets coast to coast, the TD report singled out Calgary as “the lone shining star in Western Canada’s real estate market”.

“Vancouver’s housing market has been dominating headlines recently, with sales decreasing by 26 per cent in 2012 although fewer listings have mitigated downward pressure on prices. Calgary’s situation seems ideal in comparison; it was the only one among its peers to register positive sales growth in 2012, at 14.3 per cent,” said TD senior economist Sonya Gulati. “Calgary is also benefitting from a double-digit increase in new housing starts (+38.2%), a sharp rebound from 2011. Residential building permits were up as well in the region, signaling more projects to come over the near term.”

In addition to the sales increases posted in Calgary, the report also showed the relative stability in Calgary house prices compared to the volatility found elsewhere. According to TD’s housing forecast, the average house price in Vancouver is predicted to fall from $746,600 in 2013 to $727,600 in 2014. Over the same period, TD is predicting prices in Calgary to rise from $423,400 to $431,400.

“There is a wide spectrum of housing market conditions in [Western Canada] – Vancouver has come down from 2012 peaks, whereas Calgary is experiencing positive momentum,” said Gulati.

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