Daily Market Update

Calgary sales slow, listings up
Consumer confidence is hitting the property market in Calgary, says the Calgary Real Estate Board. With the energy sector under pressure, monthly home sales have slumped to a five-year low, 35 per cent below the 10-year average, while listings have surged by 39 per cent. Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB chief economist, said: “This change is partly connected to continued low energy prices, which impact consumer confidence. A lack of recovery in oil has many concerned about their employment status and this concern is reflected through the weaker sales activity in Calgary’s January resale figures.” She said that economic conditions mean that the market is expected to be weaker this year than CREB predicted in December. Despite the recent supply increase in the market, benchmark prices managed to remain relatively stable in January at $459,100, a 7.7 per cent increase relative to January 2014, but similar to December figures. With apartment listings higher compared to sales, the benchmark for that sector decreased to $298,700 from $300,400 in December. CREB president Corinne Lyall says sellers need to be realistic: “They need to consider their property type, the competition they may be facing in their community, their reasons for selling and, of course, when they ultimately need their property to be sold.” She expects that many will wait until the spring to assess market conditions.
 
Toronto condo market heading for “moderate slowdown”
The market for condos in the Greater Toronto Area is likely to be slower in the coming months due to the impact of weaker oil prices. Although consumers in the city are more likely to be benefitting from low oil and gasoline prices, investors - who make up a sizeable proportion of condo buyers - are expected to become more cautious. Research firm Urbanation is predicting a “moderate slowdown” in the market as lower investor interest is somewhat offset by lower supply as developers curb their activity. Read the full story
 
TREB to make recommendations on affordable housing
The Toronto Real Estate Board will be making recommendations to the city’s budget committee today in a bid to tackle housing affordability. TREB says that making some changes to tax policy could benefit those wishing to buy a home and the City Council. It’s suggesting that the land transfer tax rebate available to first-time buyers should be increased along with the threshold at which the tax becomes payable. TREB points out that these levels have not been updated to take into consideration general inflation or the increase in house prices. “We believe that the two adjustments to the Land Transfer Tax that we are recommending could significantly help more people to become homeowners and help the City to achieve its affordable housing goals,” said Von Palmer, chief government and public affairs officer at TREB.

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