Calgary resale housing market indicates a healthy December

Calgary’s resale housing market was in ‘balanced’ territory in November as sales and prices dropped from the previous month, but it has rebounded this month with the pace of activity picking up.

In a report released Thursday, the Conference Board of Canada said the seasonally-adjusted rate of annual MLS sales in the city dropped 1.5 per cent from October to 35,292 units in November while listings rose by 5.1 per cent to 52,236.

The average price was also down by 0.4 per cent to $466,255.

So far in December, Calgary’s housing market continues to shine compared with December 2013.

“I’m not sure if the reality (of lower oil prices) has set in,” said Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial. “Everyone’s watching these oil prices and it kind of means something to them on one level. But I think it will start to have a broader impact on the housing market in 2015 when we do start to see some of those layoffs coming. Some of those bonuses are going to be scaled back. All of the things where it really starts to affect people’s budget and even their ability to purchase homes.

“It just hasn’t shown up yet but I think it will.”

According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date up to and including Wednesday, there have been 776 MLS sales in the city, up 2.78 per cent from the same period a year ago. New listings have risen by 42.75 per cent to 985 and active listings of 3,621 are up by 33.86 per cent.

The median price of $419,200 has increased by 4.93 per cent while the average sale price has risen by 5.15 per cent to $476,425.

The conference board report said the short-term year-over-year MLS price expectation for Calgary is in the range of a three to 4.9 per cent hike.

On a year-over-year basis compared with November 2013, sales were up by 11.2 per cent; listings rose by 21 per cent; and the average price increased by 3.8 per cent.

“The impact of economic shifts, such as the price of oil, take approximately six months to really be felt in the real estate market,” said Don Campbell, senior analyst with the Real Estate Investment Network.  “The current market numbers are a reflection of the in-migration we have witnessed over the last 12 months combined with a very low vacancy rate, pushing potential renters into the purchase market sooner than would normally occur.

“The on the street reality is that the higher end homes are having fewer showings than at this time last year, which signals a market that is being a bit more cautious. These fewer showings will lead to fewer sales in the new year, unless the oil price finds a stable bottom in the next couple of months.”


-Calgary Herald

Calgary rental market sees slight rise in vacancies, but remains tight

The rental apartment vacancy rate in the Calgary region has risen slightly in the past year, but remains very tight and it’s the most costly in the country.

The vacancy rate for the Calgary area was 1.4 per cent in October, up from one per cent from a year ago, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp’s fall rental market survey, released Tuesday.

“While elevated net migration has continued to support rental demand in Calgary, additions to the rental stock have resulted in a higher apartment vacancy rate,” said Felicia Mutheardy, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary. “Despite the increase from 2013, the vacancy rate remained low by historical standards, resulting in continued upward pressure on rents.”

Based on a sample of common properties in the 2013 and 2014 surveys, the average rental rate for a two-bedroom apartment rose 5.9 per cent in Calgary. One-bedroom units rose 7.1 per cent, while three-plus-bedroom units were up 5.6 per cent, said the report.

In the Calgary area, the average two-bedroom apartment rent in new and existing structures was $1,322 per month in October. That is the highest in the country followed by Vancouver at $1,311 and Toronto at $1,251.

The highest average two-bedroom rents in Calgary remained in the Downtown and Beltline zones at $1,459 and $1,441, respectively.

The rental condominium vacancy rate was 1.1 per cent in October, compared to one per cent in 2013.

Bob Dhillon, chief executive and founder of Calgary-based Mainstreet Equity Corp., which last week announced its 16th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for net operating income and funds from operation, said demand for apartment rentals remains very strong in the city.

” I don’t know if it correlates to the warmer December but usually rental season slows down. It generally does. But compared to last year it’s still very active,” he said.



-Calgary Herald