Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

Calgary Best Performing Real Estate Market in Canada

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

CALGARY — Calgary was the only major Canadian market to see a year-over-year rise in MLS residential sales in December as the national market plunged and the city finished 2012 with the best annual sales growth in the country, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

In releasing a report Tuesday, the association’s data indicated Calgary MLS sales in December of 1,343 were up 7.2 per cent from December 2011 while Canada saw a decline of 17.4 per cent to 20,538 sales.

The average sale price in Calgary in December rose by 6.9 per cent from last year to $419,811 while Canada’s average jumped by 1.6 per cent to $352,787.

On an annual basis, Calgary sales of 26,634 were up 18.6 per cent year-over-year while they fell by 1.1 per cent throughout the country to 453,372.

The average annual sale price in Calgary rose by 2.3 per cent to $412,315 in 2012. It was up by 0.3 per cent in Canada to $363,740.

“Calgary bucked the national trend in 2012 as the market began to come alive, while others began to enter a long sleep. This occurred because of two main influences,” said Don Campbell, senior analyst and founding partner of the Real Estate Investment Network. “Over the previous three years, Calgary had not over-performed its underlying economic fundamentals like many other major markets across the country, especially Toronto and Vancouver. A lack of new housing being poured into the market also helped to keep the average sale price in check.

“Population growth in Alberta neared a record high in 2012 as many moved here to take advantage of the job growth. This expansion of the number of citizens who call Calgary home, whether temporarily or permanently, put upward pressure on the rental market in the city. This increase in (rents) pushed many into the purchase market and therefore began the upward demand on the home-purchase market. This trend will continue, and inevitably get stronger, in 2013.”

Calgary’s market is showing no signs of letting up in January. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, month-to-date from January 1-14, there have been 375 MLS sales in the city, up 9.97 per cent from the same period last year while the average sale price has jumped by 11.75 per cent to $428,063.

In December, sales in Alberta fell by 1.9 per cent to 2,855 transactions and the average sale price went up by 4.8 per cent to $363,340. Over the year, sales in Alberta in 2012 rose by 12.3 per cent, the highest of any province, and the average sale price increased by 2.8 per cent to $363,208.

CREA’s Home Price Index in December, of seven major Canadian markets, saw the average benchmark price increase by 3.32 per cent in Canada. Regina led the country with 10.53 per cent growth followed by Calgary at 7.37 per cent.

“Similar to what we saw in September, December sales had fewer business days compared to the same month last year and most other years,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, about the national picture. “It factored into December’s year-over-year decline in sales activity.”

But he also said that “successive rounds of tightening mortgage regulations have kept the housing market in check during what has become an extended low interest rate environment.”

Sonya Gulati, senior economist with TD Economics, described 2012 as a lacklustre year for the Canadian housing market.

“With the whopping 17.4 per cent year-over-year change in sales seen in December, we suspect that the impacts from the mortgage rule tightening in July are now fully priced in,” she said. “We expect the Canadian housing market to stabilize at current levels over the next few months. When looking at previous mortgage rule tightening episodes, the housing market impacts have been temporary in nature. There is no reason to think that this time will be any different.”

Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, said the Canadian housing market continues to cool.

“While some will focus on the deep dive in sales from a year ago, it looks as though prices are providing a better read on the health of the sector, as homeowners are in no rush sell,” he said. “Prices are easing gently, consistent with a soft landing through much of the country.”

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Twitter: MTone123

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Housing affordability in Alberta improves, bucks national trend

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Construction of new homes in Auburn Bay S.W.on Monday, January 11.

 

Construction of new homes in Auburn Bay S.W.on Monday, January 11.

Photograph by: Archive, Calgary Herald

CALGARY – Housing affordability improved in Alberta in the fourth
quarter of last year amid slower economic recovery, compared with other
regions across the country, according to the latest housing report
released today by RBC Economics.

“The downturn in the housing market has created a large surplus of
homes available for sale. This has held back the pace of price
increases in the province since the market rebound took effect,” said
Robert Hogue, senior economist, RBC. “This subdued pace has kept
Alberta’s affordability in check.”

The RBC Affordability measures for Alberta, which capture the
proportion of pre-tax household income needed to service the costs of
owning a home, declined across all housing types in the fourth quarter
of 2009. The measure for the detached bungalow benchmark moved down to
33.7 per cent (a drop of 0.4 percentage points over the previous
quarter), the standard townhouse to 25.8 per cent (down 0.4 percentage
points), the standard condominium to 22.5 per cent (down 0.1 percentage
point) and the standard two-story home to 37.9 per cent (down 0.2
percentage points).

The Calgary housing market continues to be attractive with
affordability measures at or below long-term averages, said RBC. The
strong rebound in resale activity slowed last summer and has reversed
since the fall. However, the tight availability of homes for sale in
Calgary has continued to provide a slight advantage to sellers, moving
housing prices in a slight upward trend, said the report.

“With the exception of townhouses, price gains in the Calgary market
have still been relatively modest and below the highs seen in 2007,”
added Hogue.

mtoneguzzi@theherald.canwest.com

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Calgary to face ‘very active’ spring housing market as economy improves

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

CALGARY – Calgary will experience a “very active” spring housing market as an improved economic outlook combined with record low interest rates and affordable housing are “fuelling recovery” in residential real estate sales, says a report released today by Re/Max.

“The supply of detached homes is beginning to tighten, with multiple offers becoming more prevalent in hot pockets throughout the city, particularly well-priced, entry-level product,” said the Re/Max Market Trends Report 2010.

“First-time buyers continue to drive the market, looking to take advantage of greater affordability before the window of opportunity closes.”

The report said that while the average price is still off peak 2007 levels it continues its ascent rising seven per cent in the single-family category to $441,217 and four per cent in the condo category to $282,639 over January 2009 levels.

“There has been a notable push by purchasers to get in before predicted interest rate hikes and tighter lending criteria,” said the report. “To that end, buyers are being more cautious in their pursuits, deliberately choosing not to max out debt service ratios, with a trend towards more modest pursuits that can be afforded. The market is picking up at all levels, with move-up buyers increasingly active.”

The Re/Max report, which looked at 16 markets across the country, noticed a sharp decline in active listings. A lack of inventory will be the greatest challenge facing housing markets across Canada this spring, it said.

That, combined with the threat of higher interest rates, tighter lending criteria, and in British Columbia and Ontario the introduction of the new Harmonized Sales Tax, have clearly served to kick-start real estate activity “prompting an unprecedented influx of purchasers.”

“Affordability is the catalyst for the vast majority of purchasers in today’s housing market,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president for Re/Max of Western Canada. “While homeownership is still within reach in many major centres, levels are slipping. There is a growing sense, on both sides of the fence, that the time to act is now.”

Ash said the real estate market has experienced a 180-degree turnaround from this time last year.

“It’s clear that real estate from coast to coast has roared back to life and markets are once again firing on all cylinders,” said Ash. “The vast majority of markets are now recovered.”

Calgary’s economy to rebound, lead Canada in 2011

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

CALGARY – Calgary’s economy will rebound nicely this year and go on to lead the country starting in 2011, the Conference Board of Canada said Wednesday.

In its annual outlook for the cities, the board forecast Calgary’s economy will grow three per cent this year. That comes after a 2.3 per cent decline in 2009, the first drop in two decades.

“Fortunately, the initial stages of an economic recovery are starting to take hold,” the board said in its winter outlook.

“Both housing demand and prices are on the rebound, whil overall consumer confidence is gaining some upward momentum.”

Retail sales are expected to jump 4.2 per cent this year, the forecast said.

In 2010, Calgary’s economic growth will put it in the middle of the pack at 10th place. Vancouver is expected to lead the group at 4.5 per cent, boosted by the Olympic Games that begin next month.

A full recovery in the oilpatch should help propel Calgary’s economic growth to 4.4 per cent in 2010, the strongest among the provinces, the report noted.

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