Calgary Real Estate Market Bucks The National Trend
The Calgary housing market is holding its own in the face of a national trend showing a slowdown in the sector.
While the Calgary Real Estate Board says the market is not in the “frenzy” it was previously, November figures show the composite price for housing in the city was up 0.3% from a month ago to $388,800 and 7.3% from a year ago. Sales through November are up 11% from the same period in 2011. Sales for November were up 8% compared to a year ago.
“Despite elevated concerns regarding household debt and activity in other Canadian markets, the housing market continues to demonstrate resilience in Calgary,” said Marie Lurie, chief economist with CREB. “This is related to the migration, wage and employment growth recorded in the city.”
The Ottawa-based Canadian Real Estate Association, which represents about 100 boards across the country, said last month that nationally its price index was up only 3.6% in October from a year ago — good enough for the smallest year over year gain since May, 2011. Home sales dropped 0.1% in October from September and were off 0.8% from a year earlier.
However, CREA noted in its last report that markets in both Saskatchewan and Alberta were gaining strength, something that seems evident in the Calgary statistics.
Ms. Lurie with the Calgary board noted single family home price gains have been stronger than expected with a benchmark price of $433,600, an 8.5% increase from a year ago.
At the same time, those gains have levelled off as consumers have turned their attention to cheaper options in areas surrounding area around the city and the condominium — a trend seen in many large Canadian centres.
“While the Calgary area market has been improving, it is not on the cusp of a dramatic rise or fall,” said Ms. Lurie, noting challenges in the oil sector could dampen demand.
The Calgary market has benefited from a 6% drop in new listings over the first 11 months of the year, compared to a year earlier. Overall, there is a 17% drop in inventory which had been consider elevated.
“With fewer inventories in the market, consumers are eager to view new listings and if consumers see value they will buy,” said Bob Jablonski, president of CREB. “However, the market is not demonstrating the same frenzy we saw during the overheated period.”