‘Resilient’ markets now feeling economic pressure: report

Although the cities of Calgary and Edmonton have demonstrated “resilience” in the past year, the region may start to feel the pressures of the economic downturn in 2016, according to Re/Max’s most recent housing market outlook.
 
The real estate company predicts that the average sale price of a home in Calgary will drop from $461,700 to $443,232, while in Edmonton it will fall 5% from $373,450 to $360,379.
 
"With oil price volatility continuing to make buyers feel uncertain, we do expect the average sale price to decrease next year," Elton Ash, Re/Max Western Canada told CBC News.
 
While Edmonton experienced a 2% rise in sale price in 2015 and has invested $5 billion in an ongoing project to revitalize its downtown corridor, analysts are not optimistic about its prospects next year.
 
“Potential buyers have been cautious this year as they wait to see how the economy will shift over the next several months,” the report reveals. “Concern that oil could take time to stabilize and the stock market may soften has made some buyers apprehensive.”
 
There may be an upside, however, as lower end houses are experiencing a spike in demand.  This trend is being driven by first-time home buyers capitalizing upon the region’s reasonably priced market opportunities, particularly in Calgary.
 
“Calgarians who work in non-oil related jobs have taken the opportunity to get into the market, and entry-level homes priced under $400,000 have seen the most activity,” the report said.
 
Vancouver and Toronto are expected to see home prices rise next year, and the sales price is expected to rise 2.5% nationally.

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