The Balancing Act

Calgary’s housing market showing signs of stability, but the road to a full recovery will take time.

If Calgary’s housing market was a hospital patient, it would have been in intensive care for the last year. Today, though, the patient is showing signs of serious recovery.

First quarter data for 2017 from the CREB®, released earlier this month, reveals the market could be entering a period of stability in which supply and demand are essentially balancing out in the detached sector of the market.

“When we talk about recovery, we have to differentiate the marketplace conditions because there are two segments facing different prospects,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB®.

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Signs of spring

Warm weather brings indications of spring market to city

Following the second warmest February on record, the warm, sunny snow-free conditions emblematic of a spring housing market are already on display in our city. And while Calgary’s housing market hasn’t yet fully emerged from the doldrums, there are at least some signs of life.

With double-digit declines being the norm in 2015 for year-over-year sales, including several months of declines in excess of 25 per cent, the first two months of 2016 have seen the decline lessen.

Since October 2015, when year-over-year sales in the city fell by 33.2 per cent according to CREB®, Calgary’s housing market has seen those declines lessen to 28.7 per cent in November, 18.1 per cent in December, 12.6 percent in January 2016 with February seeing the first single-digit decline in the city since December of 2014.

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Five things about Calgary’s housing market

By the numbers

Deciphering all the information coming out of Calgary’s housing market can be difficult at the best of times. And with the number of homes changing hands under more scrutiny than ever, it’s a good time to dig a little deeper.

CREB®Now takes a look at five figures surrounding Calgary’s housing market.

$7.9 billion
Through the first 10 months of 2015, the total value of Calgary homes sold in the city sits at 7.9 billion. While still a staggering figure, the number is already $3 billion shy of the value of homes sold through the first 10 months last year, a drop of 39.2 per cent.

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Market remains balanced despite easing in absorption rates

Supply gain in apartment sector threatens to impact price

Declines in residential housing sales activity eased in July, creating, when combined with stable inventory levels, no change to the month-over-month price.

Year-over-year sales fell by 14 per cent to 1,995 units in July, compared to a 17.8 per cent decrease the previous month. Despite the decline, sales activity during the month was consistent with the 10-year average.

While sales decline eased, so too did the decline in new listings, causing the unadjusted sales-to-new listings ratio to edge down to 67 per cent in July and months of supply to increase to 2.53 months.

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The lure of lakeside

Amenities rank high for lake community residents

A cottage lifestyle within Calgary: that’s how local urban expert Richard White described Calgary’s lakeside communities.

“I know several people who love the idea of cottage life in the city. They’ll invest more in a house, because they don’t need to buy a house and a cottage,” said White.

Buyers are not only focused on the inside of their homes, but also on the outside, added Scott Hamilton, marketing and communications director for Hopewell Residential, the developer behind Mahogany in the city’s southeast.

“People are looking for recreational amenities that are convenient…Calgary is not lake country traditionally, so to have a lake is really attractive,” he said.

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