Lacklustre luxury

High-end housing market continues sluggish recovery, but slow sales bump up supply 

As a former long-time writer with the Calgary Herald focusing on the real estate beat, I knew how popular coverage of the real estate industry was to readers.

One aspect of the industry people always loved reading about was the city’s luxury home market. So, I was curious how the high-end segment of the housing market has been faring lately.

Year-to-date sales – up to the end of April – of $1-million-plus properties totalled 204 transactions, which is down slightly from 211 during the same period a year ago, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB®.

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Soft sales continue in April

Prices steady, but struggles in Alberta economy weigh on housing

Changes to the lending industry and a challenging economic recovery are weighing on sales activity in Calgary’s housing market.

Supply levels have not adjusted to the weaker demand environment, and that is preventing price recovery.

“Slower sales do not come as a surprise, given the economy has not yet improved enough to offset the impact of changes in the lending industry,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While the rising inventories are being monitored, prices have remained relatively flat as gains in some areas of the city have been offset by declines in other areas.”

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Crunching the numbers

How much home can you afford?

Shopping for the home of your dreams requires knowing how much you can afford to spend, which for most buyers ties directly into a mortgage.

Financial institutions in Canada look at a buyer’s Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratios to help determine how much mortgage to approve, and therefore, how much home a person can afford.

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