Alberta MLS sales activity to top Canada for next two years

Alberta MLS sales activity is forecast to show the biggest year-over-year gains in the country in the next two years, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

In a report released Monday, CREA said MLS sales in the province would grow by 6.8 per cent this year to 57,400 and by another 1.7 per cent in 2013 to 58,400.

Across the country, CREA forecasts 0.3 per cent growth in 2012 to 458,800 transactions but a decline of 0.3 per cent in 2013 to 457,200 units.

The average sale price in Alberta is forecast to grow by 1.4 per cent in each of the next two years to $358,300 in 2012 and to $363,200 in 2013.

Nationally, the average sale price is forecast to decline by 1.1 per cent this year to $359,100 but increase by 0.9 per cent in 2013 to $362,300.

The continuation of low interest rates is good news for housing and for the economy, said Gary Morse, CREA’s president.

Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, said the risks to the Canadian economic outlook remain elevated “owing to the European debt quagmire, but the continuation of low interest rates is the silver lining.”

“So long as the European debt crisis is contained and a global economic recession avoided, low interest rates will support Canadian home sales and prices,” he said. “Recent trends are reassuring, but interest rates remaining low for longer will doubtless keep the Canadian housing market under scrutiny for signs of overheating.”

Lai Sing Louise, regional economist for the Prairies and Territories for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said residential MLS sales in Alberta rose seven per cent in 2011, while new listings decreased by four per cent.

“Alberta’s bright economic and demographic outlook will result in growing demand for resale homes. In 2012, resale transactions are projected to rise to 54,650 units and then increase by over three per cent to 56,550 in 2013,” he said.

“Most of Alberta’s major resale markets were in buyers’ market conditions through 2011, holding price growth to one per cent. Over the forecast period, gains in employment and migration are expected to lift demand, improve market balance, and increase Alberta’s average resale price to $363,650 in 2012 and then rise to $372,300 in 2013.”

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