Calgary low-cost housing segment benefiting from greater competition

by Ephraim Vecina10 Jul 2019

Calgary is seeing increased activity and competition in its sub-$500,000 housing segment, according to latest market figures.

Fresh data from the Calgary Real Estate Board indicated that this particular low-cost sector has posted gradually depleting supply along with steadily accelerating sales activity.

“That under $500,000 segment, with it moving into much more balanced conditions, I would expect that you’re going to start to see not just price stability, but we might move into price recovery,” CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie told CBC News.

This will help bring increased competition, which in turn will attract even greater activity from bargain-seekers.

“Most of what I’m seeing when I do an open house or I’m going out there, I’m seeing a lot of renters, which is very encouraging. So it’s people that are getting off the fence and are finally looking at purchasing a home,” Doug Hayden of Exp Realty said.

Calgary’s overall housing sales fell by 6% year-over-year, while the number of new listings declined by almost 19%. CREB noted that these number point to an easing in oversupply, along with a much better balance for lower-priced properties.

In a recent analysis, Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Sherry Cooper stated that both Calgary and Edmonton, along with Victoria in BC, are enjoying “encouraging bursts of activity.”

Resale volume grew by 6.6% month-over-month in Calgary last June.

“These are early signs that the cyclical bottom has been reached in that region of the country,” Cooper said. “Market conditions are still soft, though. Property values remain under downward pressure for now with the MLS Home Price Index down from a year ago in May.”

The Index fell by 4.3% in Calgary and by 3.7% in Edmonton.

“That said, the rate of decline moderated in Calgary and Edmonton, which is a further sign that these markets are stabilizing.”


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