Future of housing

Stakeholders say Alberta can’t be overlooked when creating national strategy

As the federal government moves closer toward a national strategy on housing, key Alberta stakeholder groups say recognition of different local and regional challenges is critical to any policy changes.

“We are encouraged the federal government is doing this, but we are hoping its actions will be localized,” said Kevin McNichol, vice-president of strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation, leader of the city’s plan to end homelessness.

“In Calgary, we have the highest median income in the country, so it might be easy to overlook us. But we also have the lowest rate of affordable housing in Canada.”

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55 years of real estate: 1990 CREB® president John Fraser

Former CREB® president John Fraser recalled new sense of hope in 1990 after decade of challenges

A fresh start: that’s how many viewed 1990, recalled then-CREB® president John Fraser.

“We had just come out of an extremely difficult period,” he said, referencing a decade defined by the National Energy Program, soaring interest rates and growing unemployment in the province.

“In about the mid ’80s, things started to improve. And by about 1990, if you can believe it, almost 10 years later, we were almost back to where we were in 1981 in terms of house prices.”

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Calgary MLS® prices expected to rise in ‘balanced’ market

Sellers’ conditions in B.C., buyers’ in Saskatchewan

A new report from the Conference Board of Canada says balanced conditions in Calgary’s resale housing market are expected to create price gains in the coming months.

In its June Metro Resale Snapshot, the organization anticipates the city’s MLS® price will increase between zero and 2.9 per cent over the short term. In May, the house price in Calgary was $465,840, up 1.1 per cent from April and 2.3 per cent from a year ago.

Study author Robin Wiebe classified Calgary’s housing market as balanced, noting sales volumes in May increased by 1.6 per cent on a month-over-month basis, while listings declined by 1.9 per cent.

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Calgary housing prices to decline further: report

CMHC report forecasts buyers’ conditions will continue in 2016/17

Calgary housing prices will continue to decline in 2016, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), which predicts the average MLS® residential price in the city will range between $444,500 and $449,500, compared to $453,814 in 2015.

In its semi-annual housing market outlook, released today, CMHC also said it detected moderate evidence of overvaluation as house prices have not been fully supported by economic and demographic fundamentals.

In 2017, house prices in the resale market are anticipated to gradually stabilize as the market shifts to more balanced levels. Improvements in economic conditions and housing demand combined with less supply will help support home prices, said CMHC.

The MLS® average residential price in 2017 is forecast to range from $450,400 to $455,600.

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Calgary is still among most affordable: experts

Household income strong when compared to housing prices, other cities

Calgary homebuyers will continue to fare well as the city’s affordability index will likely outpace other major urban centres in the country for the rest of this year, say experts.

RBC Economics senior economist Robert Hogue attributes Calgary’s affordability moving forward to continued high household incomes in the city – especially when compared to cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal

“It’s not because house prices are so cheap. It’s because it’s the market in Canada where the income is the highest,” he said. “We measure affordability as a percentage of household income.”

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