A cloud of uncertainty hangs over top of Calgary’s housing market in 2016. To help anxious buyers and sellers, here are a few key numbers from CREB®’s 2016 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast that will shed some light on what’s to come.
After posting 25,543 sales in 2014 and 18,830 in 2015, CREB® is predicting Calgary’s resale housing market to decline slightly in 2016 to 18,416 – below the 10-year average. Sales are expected to be down 2.5 per cent in the detached sector, 1.5 per cent in attached and two per cent in apartments. According to CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, the beginning of the year will find Calgary in a buyer’s market.
Following a long period of uninterrupted growth, the annualized benchmark price is predicted to fall by 3.4 per cent in 2016 to $438,652. Broken down by sector, CREB® is predicting a 3.2 per cent decline in the detached sector, 3.5 per cent in attached and 4.2 per cent in apartments.
While sales are expected to decline, new listings are expected to increase by a modest 1.5 per cent to 34,379 units from 33,860 in 2015. CREB® notes inventory supply will likely be elevated throughout the year due to completions in the new housing market. In particular, it identifies the attached sector as the most at risk, with nearly 20 per cent of multi-family product current under construction consisting of attached properties.
After posting consecutive years of 36,000-plus, Calgary’s net migration is expected to reach 14,951 in 2016, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Net migration to the city in 2015 totaled 11,747.
Having increased from a “near crisis” level of 1.4 per cent in 2014 to 5.3 per cent in 2015, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is predicting Calgary’s rental vacancy rate to fall back slightly in 2016, dropping to 3.7 per cent. CREB® notes higher-than-normal vacancy rates will decrease ownership demand elsewhere in the market.