COVID-19 weighing against the housing market
Following a solid start to 2020, economic circumstances have dramatically shifted, as COVID-19 is affecting all aspects of society.
The economic impact is across many industries, including the housing market.
Sales activity for March began the month strong only quickly turned, as concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 brought about social distancing measures, which caused a substantial impact on businesses and employment.
"This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty coming from both the wide impact of the pandemic and dramatic shift in the energy sector. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
By the end of March, sales activity had fallen 11 percent compared to last year. This is 37 percent lower than long-term averages. The drop in sales pushed March levels to the lowest...
Home Sales Observe a Boost
This February shows an increase in sales in the double-digits, although last February was one of the lowest activity levels since the late '90s.
With the additional day this February, sales for this month totalled 1,197 units. With these two factors combined resulted in a 23 percent growth over last year, though sales persist well below trends longer-term and are similar to more moderate levels recorded over the past five years.
"However, this should not diminish the fact that conditions are still improving," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"Calgary is continuing to see slow reductions in the amount of oversupply in the market, from modest changes in demand and reductions in supply. This needs to occur before we can see more stability in prices."
The unadjusted benchmark price overall for February was $416,900. Comparable to last month, yet about one percent less than levels last year. Overall,...
2020 starts with a modest increase in sales
The conditions in the housing market continue to follow trends similar to last year, with increases in sales.
Additionally, there have been further reductions in new listings, inventory, and more decreases in prices.
Sales activity in January was 863 units, almost eight percent higher than levels last year. Although sales continued well below January activity reported before 2014, they remain consistent with activity reported in the past five years.
"A persistent slowdown in the energy sector has resulted in a reset in many aspects of our economy. This includes the housing market," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"We continue to see the slow adjustment to more balanced conditions, but it will take time before that starts to translate into price stability."
January unadjusted benchmark prices citywide were $417,100, which is moderately lower than the prior month and almost one percent...
Property division laws for two people living in a relationship of interdependence, such as a common-law couple, changed on January 1, 2020.
In Alberta, when a married couple divorces, both spouses are entitled to a portion of the marital property according to the Matrimonial Property Act, RSA 2000, c M-8. This legislation provides the courts the framework for the distribution of marital property between spouses.
Before January 1, 2020, this did not apply to common-law couples. The Matrimonial Property Act only applied to married spouses or former married spouses. But now most Canadian jurisdictions, including Alberta, recognize that persons in common-law relationships, or "Adult Interdependent Relationship," are entitled to property division rights if the relationship breaks down.
Bill 28, the Family Statutes Amendment Act, 2018, received approval on December 11, 2018 and became...
Calgary has endured job losses, wage decreases, and toughening national housing policy since the crash of oil prices. All these factors have added to the more moderate sales environment, excess supply, and citywide price adjustments of more than 10 percent.
As Calgary goes into the sixth year of this cycle, there are signs of adjustments to these conditions in the housing market.
"Job growth, combined with recent easing in mortgage rates and price declines, is starting to bring some purchasers back into the lower end of the market," said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist.
"We are seeing more transactions in the $500,000-and-below price point for residential homes."
Preference for consumers toward the lower-priced product is expected to remain at the cost of continued vulnerability in the higher end of the market. Nevertheless, as the under-$500,000 market, indicates a more significant percentage of total activity, the increases in this sector will exceed the losses...
Calgary real estate market wraps up December 2019 exhibiting further signs of stability
Following weak sales activity last year, December sales increased to levels that were more consistent with activity reported over the past five years.
Annual sales were driven up by one percent, with a stronger showing in the second half of 2019.
“Price declines, lower mortgage rates and some modest improvements in full-time employment helped support some demand growth in the city. Reductions in supply are also contributing to the slow adjustment to more stable conditions in the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“As oversupply in the market continues to ease, we should start to see more stabilization in prices. However, conditions continue to favour the buyer and this is weighing on prices.”
Unadjusted benchmark prices for December were $418,500, one percent less than...
Details Released Regarding the First-Time Buyer Program
To clear up some of the confusion and specify the requirements and guidelines, below are key dates for program role out and points to be aware of:
- The first date purchases are eligible to qualify for the home buyers incentive are September 2nd. The first closings on the program are November 1st.
- Buyers who purchase property before September 2nd are not eligible for the program, even if the closing happens after September 2nd.
- First-time buyers must have saved at least the minimum 5% down payment.
- To count as a first-time buyer, client or their spouse cannot have owned a property in the last 4 years. Technically they could have owned a home before to qualify for the program, but not within the past 4 years.
- If a person is going through a divorce or ending a common law relationship they...
Calgary housing market continues to favour the buyer
So far this year, residential sales year-to-date in Calgary remains just above levels last year due to increases in the attached sector.
Nevertheless, sales activity in November decreased over levels last year, chiefly due to pullbacks in the apartment sector.
While new listings eased relative to sales, causing inventories to ease and oversupply to reduced slightly compared to levels last year.
“Achieving more stable conditions will take time. Sales activity has been settling in at lower levels and is likely being influenced by the economic conditions and uncertainty weighing on our market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“While the amount of supply in the market continues to ease, the persistent oversupply continues to weigh on prices.”
Citywide, as of November, the unadjusted benchmark price was $419,100. Just less than last...
City of Calgary Outdoor Rinks
The City of Calgary outdoor skating rinks are seasonal and typically open mid to late December through February. Except for Olympic Plaza which, is generally open from mid-November to mid-March because of its refrigerated ice surface.
Ice conditions, of course, can change with the weather and rinks may close if conditions decline or maintenance is required.
The following outdoor skating rinks are maintained by The City:
Big Marlborough Park ...