Daily Market Update

Panic over Calgary listings eases, but sales activity is weak
A surge in the number of homes listed for sale in Calgary in January eased last month. Figures from the Calgary Real Estate Board show that new listings growth was nine per cent in February, down from 37 per cent at the start of the year when it may have looked like panic-selling. Sales activity last month was still below long-term averages so the inventory rose to 5,474 units. This is still well below the peak in February 2008 when there were 7,000 units available. City of Calgary sales totaled 1,217 in February, down 34 per cent year-over-year. Apartment sales were notably lower. CREB president Corinne Lyall said it is difficult to predict how buyers will react to the current market conditions: “Buyers who have been waiting for more inventory to come on the market may find what they are looking for today. If they are in a position to make a buying decision, they certainly can take advantage of the lower interest rates.” Prices in Calgary are down slightly month-over-month with the benchmark for detached houses at $516,000 in February, down 0.5 per cent from the month before, although six per cent higher than a year earlier. Attached and apartment prices are also down slightly on a monthly basis with benchmarks of $354,600 and $296,000, respectively. See the full CREB report.
A quarter of Canadians are in ‘debt denial’
Twenty-two percent of Canadians wrongly believe that their debt level is ‘average’ and 27.5 per cent are wrong in how they perceive debt. A poll by RateSupermarket asked 6,000 people about their use of credit cards and found that, of those who have a balance of at least $8,000, almost half consider that to be ‘average’; in fact, the national average is $2,627. On a positive note, 35 per cent of respondents thought they had more debt than they do and the percentage of Canadians with no credit card debt increased to 18.4 per cent, up 5.3 per cent from a similar survey in 2012.
Landlords act quickly on Target leases
Landlords have been quick to regain control of retail space they have leased to Target Canada. Oxford Properties and Ivanhoe Cambridge are reported to have joined forces to offer a deal to the failed retailer and are said to be paying a premium to take back control of their retail space. Although typically a bankrupt company’s assets would be sold for less than market rates the deal from the landlords reflects their keenness to quickly re-lease the properties to new tenants. Industry experts say that some of Target’s not-so-desirable locations may struggle to find buyers for leases. Read the full story.

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