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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5 things about CREB® 2017 forecast

What you should know about the year ahead for Calgary’s housing market

CREB® has released its annual economic outlook and regional housing forecast. But what does it all mean? CREB®Now takes readers through the numbers.

18,335
After posting successive sales declines in 2014 (25,552), 2015 (18,839) and 2016 (17,809), CREB® is forecasting MLS® activity in Calgary to rebound slightly in 2017. Citywide sales are expected to total 18,335 units, a three per cent gain over 2016, but 12 per cent below long-term averages. By category, detached sales are predicted to hit 11,550 in 2016, while attached and apartment sales will reach 4,002 and 2,783, respectively.

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Renters’ paradise

Over-supply, fewer newcomers behind increasing vacancy rates

Vacancy rates in Calgary have spiked so far this year and are expected to rise for the foreseeable future, say industry insiders.

And with few signs of significant changes in the economy on the horizon, renters will enjoy plenty of choice and price flexibility, while landlords will need to get aggressive.

“Vacancy started rising pretty rapidly after the spring of last year and it’s still been rising,” said Gerry Baxter, executive director of the Calgary Residential Rental Association, which has about 850 members, representing between 65,000 and 70,000 rental units. There are more than 700 landlords in the association.

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Prices and population

Fewer newcomers will mean weaker housing demand, lower prices, say experts

Fewer newcomers to our city will translate into weaker housing demand and lower housing prices for the foreseeable future, say housing experts.

According to the City of Calgary’s 2016 census released last month, more than 6,500 people left the city between April 2016 and April 2015. The 4,256 population jump to 1.235 million was primarily attributed to an increase of births versus deaths.

“Not surprisingly, the overall impact of lower population growth in Calgary will weigh on its real estate market,” said ATB Financial economist Nick Ford. “Housing prices may continue to slide lower in all areas of the city as a result of declining demand.

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