Home sales in August held steady despite the continued impact of COVID-19
In August, total residential sales were relatively stable compared to last year with year-over-year gains in the detached and row sectors, which offset declines in the semi-detached and apartment products.
August sales were reported at 1,573, which in comparison to the past five years remained consistent. Sales activity year-to-date remained almost 13 percent less than last year.
“Recent national reports have shown a bounce back to new record levels over the past several months. Calgary has seen improvements over the lows recorded during the lockdowns but is far from record levels,” said CREB®...
Interest rates in Canada are at an all-time low. Rates are being pushed down by the uncertainty of Covid-19, and they're not expected to be rising anytime soon. The Bank of Canada hinted that interest rates wouldn't rise until 2023.
"Based on the Bank's new forecasts, this implies it has no intention of raising policy rates for several years," states Capital Economics economist Stephen Brown. "While the Bank may eventually raise its central scenario forecasts for growth and inflation, our forecasts are still consistent with the broad message in today's policy statement. That is, despite the huge stimulus, there is little chance that a surge in inflation will justify raising interest rates within the next few years."
What do these historically low-interest rates mean for you?
Great news, if your rate is variable, your rate is predicated on prime, which is set currently at 2.45%. You either have a variable rate of prime (2.45%) minus or plus a spread....
Economic uncertainty continues while detached and semi-detached home sales report an increase
With higher sales for detached and semi-detached properties, July sales total increased over levels last year. Year-to-date sales persist at 15 percent lower than last year's levels, despite the improvements in July.
"There have been improvements relative to the lowest sales levels caused by COVID-19, but it is too early to say things are shifting back to pre-pandemic levels," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"We are still facing record-high unemployment rates, significant government aid, and uncertainty throughout the business community....
Amidst COVID-19 pandemic sales decline by two percent from last year
Following the three months of COVID-19 weighing profoundly on the housing market, June sales activity shows an increase over the previous month, totalling 1,747 units.
Caution continues, as monthly sales are almost two percent less than the activity reported last year. Yet this represents a notable improvement in comparison to the past several months, where declines year-over-year surpassed 40 percent.
“Recent price declines, easing mortgage rates and early easing of social restrictions are likely contributing to the better-than-expected sales this month,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
“However, the market remains far from normal. Challenges, such as double-digit unemployment rates, will continue to weigh on the market for months to come.”
Total of 3,335 new listings in June, which was a six percent increase over...
CMHC Rule Changes Coming for July 2020
Here we go again, more changes to lending, this time the changes will affect high ratio mortgage insurance with CMHC. High ratio mortgages are anyone who is putting down less than 20% on their purchase price. GE (Genworth )and Canada Guaranty are both private mortgage insurance companies and will not be implementing the same changes at the time of this article, but we expect it would be likely to see them follow suit with the changes in the future as it will decrease their risk and exposure.
WHAT will change?
The new rules will lower the debt allowed for a homeowner to take on. So essentially you will qualify...
Impact of COVID-19's on the Calgary housing market continues
In May, Calgary's housing market activity remained slow, though sales surpassed the lows from April, which saw fewer than 600 sales.
May sales totalled 1,080 units, a 44 percent decrease from last year's totals.
"The initial shock of COVID-19 and social distancing measure is starting to ease. This is bringing some buyers and sellers back to the market. However, this market continues to remain far from normal and prices are trending down," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.
"Activity has also shifted toward more affordable product, which is likely causing differing trends depending on product type and price range."
Sales have declined in all price ranges, but a more significant percentage of sales are below $500,000.
The drop in inventory in the higher price ranges has not been enough in comparison to the decrease in sales. The months of supply is higher than the already elevated...
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, prices continue at almost...
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 less than levels last...
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 from the higher end,...
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 are considered a first-time...