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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Moving forward

CREB®’s mid-year update cites tough start to 2016, forecasts continued challenges moving forward

Calgary’s housing market will continue to battle recessionary conditions during the second half of 2016, but the worse might be behind it.

That’s the word from CREB® as it released a mid-year update to its annual Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast.

“With no near-term changes expected in the economic climate, housing demand is expected to remain weak for the second consecutive year as resale activity is forecasted to decline by eight per cent in 2016,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, who authored the report.

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5 things on housing market’s health

New report paints mid-term picture

RBC Economics economist Craig Wright and Robert Hogue say the provincial recession continues to weigh on housing demand in Calgary, and such weakness is increasingly undermining prices.

In the bank’s Canadian Housing Health Check released this week, the report’s authors note the drop in property values has been generally modest to date; however, the pace of decline has accelerated and further downside remains.

Here are five things to know about contributors to Calgary’s housing health so far this year:

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Housing prices trend down in March: CREB®

Unemployment impacting housing activity

Home prices declined further in March as economic conditions weigh on Calgary’s housing market, according to CREB®, which released its monthly housing summary today.

Calgary’s benchmark price totaled $442,800 in March, a 0.49 per cent decline over February and 3.51 per cent lower than levels recorded last year.

“With no improvement in the labour market, it’s no surprise that we continue to face downward pressure on housing sales activity and prices,” said CREB® chief economist Ann- Marie Lurie.

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Rental rollercoaster

White-knuckle ride likely isn’t over yet

Only a short while ago it was hard to find a place to rent in Calgary. How things have changed.

Calgary’s rental market has been a rollercoaster ride since oil prices began to fall in late 2014. The vacancy rate for purpose-built rentals was 5.3 per cent this past October, based on numbers released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) in mid-December. That’s almost a 400 per cent increase from October the previous year, when the vacancy rate was 1.4 per cent.

“Obviously, a big part of that is due to a change in the economy,” said Richard Cho, principal market analyst for Calgary with CMHC.

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