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Demand for detached housing continues to rise

Fueled by the detached sector, Calgary home prices trended up for the fourth consecutive month, but remain below 2014 highs.


"The economic climate is supporting detached housing market recovery," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 


"Improved demand and easing supply has created more balanced conditions and ultimately some modest price gains. While it will still take some time for prices to recover, the transition in the detached segment is an important first step to stabilization across all segments of the housing market."


For the first time since June 2015, prices in the detached sector did not decline on a year-over-year basis.  Unadjusted detached benchmark prices reached $509,000 in May, one per cent higher than last month and May 2016 levels.


Like the detached market, the attached product has moved towards more balanced conditions. This has supported some recent directional shifts in pricing.  However, monthly price declines had fallen by 4.7 per cent over peak levels and year-to-date benchmark prices remain two per cent below last year's levels.


"We can really see a slow but sure recovery in the housing market," said CREB® president David P. Brown. 

"Demand for detached product is driving a new sense of optimism for consumers as we move further into spring." 

Against this backdrop, the number of new listings rose to 3,866 units in May, which is 17 per cent higher than last year's total for the month. Despite this rise, year-to-date new listings have declined by one per cent over last year.  


"With the change in market dynamics, people no longer feel like they may need to settle for a second choice in a property," said Brown. 


"There are lots of housing choices in every segment of the market and that made for a good situation in an already active spring market." 


The variation in market activity also extends to regional areas outside the city of Calgary.

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Calgary's housing market continued to show signs of stability in April. With improvements in the labour market and a balanced detached sector, city-wide benchmark prices reached $439,600 in April, similar to the previous month, but 0.90 per cent below last year's levels.


"More jobs means less uncertainty for people who are sitting on the fence," said CREB®president David P. Brown. "There also tends to be fewer people who need to sell when employment improves, and that can prevent inventory gains and further price reductions in the market. It's a good scenario for sellers who are entering a spring market that's in better shape than anything we've seen in recent years."


While adjustments are still occurring in the apartment condominium sector, the detached segment of the market is improving across all price segments.


"Detached product has not faced the same supply pressure as the apartment sector," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "Detached supply from new construction didn't surpass previous highs. That helped prevent steeper price adjustments in the detached sector when demand eased."


The relationship between sales and inventory will be a key driver for pricing in the months ahead. Total transactions improved to 1,917 units in April, while inventories totaled 5,495 units, pushing months of supply below three for the second consecutive month.


With sales up and overall market inventory down, months of supply has already pulled back from elevated levels recorded over the past two years. While activity continues to vary by location and product type, more balanced conditions will help to support overall price stability. 


"Improvements in the employment situation were necessary to prevent further declines in the housing sector," said Lurie. "However, economic recovery is still expected to be slow, impacting the pace and quality of job growth. Based on current expectations this should translate into a more prolonged period of recovery in the housing market."

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What's more important to you as a home owner, or potential home owner?  Would you rather know how much properties in your community are currently listed for, or would you rather know how much properties in your community actually sold for?  There can be a big difference!  If you are more interested in the latter send me an email at iwisdom@cirrealty.ca Tell me where you live and the type of property you own and every month I'll send you an email with all the most recent sales in your community, how much they were listed for, how much they sold for and how many days they were on the market.  All at no obligation and no cost to you.  You can also unsubscribe at any time.

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Housing, like any other commodity is driven by supply and demand - just look at oil prices when the cap on production was lifted!


With the housing bubbles in Vancouver and Toronto going crazy where will the next bubble emerge?


Remember, there has to be high demand and low supply.


One of the factors that kept the greater Calgary area real estate prices relatively stable over the last few years was that, although demand went down and supply went up, it waas not as dramatic as some people had feared at the beginning.  Despite the economic downturn here and the job losses, the real estate market remained fairly resilient.  So much so that now that confidence is starting to come back some parts of the market are shifting into a sellers market.


There are some similarities to the early 2000's.  At that time house prices were going crazy in both Toronto and Vancouver and there was definitely a miss match between average prices there and many other parts of Canada.  In particular, both centres had seen significant increase in immigrants moving to those cities (part of the reason for the increased demand for housing in those cities).  There was a time lag of several years, but, as the econmies in the western prairie provinces grew stronger, so did the need for skilled workers.  More jobs led to more people moving here, which inturn increased demand for housing.


So the picture right now is that here, in the greater Calgary region, we are on the brink of a recovery, with relatively low supply of inventory in some aspects of our housing.  The only missing ingredient for a bubble here is more people coming to lve here.  As things get more expensive in the big cities of Toronto and Vancouver and the job market starts to improve here I predict that in the next few years we will see an up swing in millenials moving to Calgary (and other western prairie towns and cities) for a life that they cannot achieve Toronto & Vancouver.


Have your say.......what do you think?


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After a long period of disconnect between supply and demand, Calgary's detached housing sector is firmly in balanced territory. Sales were still 10 per cent below long-term trends in March, but above levels seen in recent years, while average inventory declined compared to last year, supporting price stability in the detached market.

"It's not so much that demand went through the roof in March, but that we had less supply come onto the market, which is really helping to balance things out," said CREB® president David P. Brown. "These changes are lifting the cloud of uncertainty for housing consumers and nicely positioning our market as we move into the more active spring season."

Unadjusted detached benchmark prices totaled $503,900 in March, 0.4 per cent above last month and similar to levels recorded last year. Meanwhile, Apartment and attached prices continue to remain well below levels recorded last year.

"Market conditions are quite different in the apartment sector," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "The additional supply coming from the new home sector is not easily reversed and the added competition is continuing to weigh on prices in the higher density sectors of the market."

City-wide inventory levels totaled 5,114 in March, 16 per cent below last year's levels. This is primarily driven by the 25 and 17 per cent contraction in the detached and attached markets. Inventory levels in the ownership apartment sector remain three per cent higher then levels recorded last year.

"The housing market transition in the first quarter appears to be consistent with trends in the labour market," said Lurie. "However, the way the rest of the year unfolds will be largely determined by what happens in the next two quarters, as nearly 60 per cent of all housing sales typically occur in that time frame."

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A B.C. Supreme Court ruling will send shock waves through the arm of the Canadian real-estate market that is powered by foreign capital, say immigration lawyers.


The ruling targets a weakness in Canadian laws that often leads foreign owners of real estate in cities such as Metro Vancouver and Toronto to claim they are “residents of Canada for tax purposes” when they are not.


The landmark B.C. decision requires notary public Tony Liu to pay his client more than $600,000 because Liu failed to adequately determine whether the Vancouver house his client was buying for $5.5 million had been owned by a tax resident of Canada.


Click here to find out more


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