Alberta housing markets may surprise investors post-recovery – report

by Ephraim Vecina on 20 May 2020

Should COVID-19’s impact be moderated and the Albertan economy restarts in the next few quarters, the Calgary and Edmonton housing markets might see recovery sooner than expected.

“All major metropolitan economies are forecast to contract in 2020,” The Conference Board of Canada said in its latest economic forecast.

Calgary’s real GDP will likely shrink by 5.5%, while Edmonton will likely see a 5.6% decline, CTV News reported.

“However, assuming the virus’ spread is contained, and firms can return to normal operations over the summer months, a recovery should begin in the second half of the year, leading to sharp rebounds coast-to-coast in 2021,” the board said.

The organization is predicting GDP increases of 6% (Calgary) and 6.2% (Edmonton) by next year, which should bode well for the province’s long-burdened housing market.

According to figures from the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), the region’s average home price stood at $371,022 as of March, falling by 2.64% year over year. Sales activity weakened by 8.5% during the same time frame.

The number of new listings shrank by 14.54%, while the stock of homes available in the province declined by 5.76%.

“This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA chief economist.

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