Calgary’s housing market will ward off cooling trend in 2023: CREB forecast

Unlike other Canadian cities, Calgary’s housing market is positioned to do better than it had before the pandemic according to the outlook in a report by the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

The 2023 forecast predicts prices will not see the dramatic drop-offs as traditionally hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver are seeing as they continue to cool.

The board is also expecting lower total sales activity, predicting about 26,000 home sales, down from 30,000 in 2022.

In the detached housing market within the City of Calgary, sales dropped from 17,037 in 2021 down to 15,795 – but prices in this category grew in the same timeframe.

The benchmark price for a detached house in Calgary is $629,350 in 2022, up from $549,800 in the previous year.

“We’re optimistic about getting a sale soon,” said Taryn Fay-McClymont.

She and her husband have just listed their Bowness semi-detached home to move to B.C.’s Okanagan region to be closer to family.

Not long ago, the idea wouldn’t have made sense financially.

“We’ve decided that this is the time. And its really now that we’ve hit it at this time that (prices) are going up here and they seem to be going down everywhere else,” said Fay-McClymont.

Ann Marie Lurie, chief economist at CREB told the audience during the forecast announcement at the Calgary Telus Convention Centre on Tuesday that Calgary’s market looks brighter than it has since 2015, all things considered.

“Although we are going through a period of adjustment we’re still doing relatively well.”

Calgary realtors say demand from buyers from hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver are helping move their listings.

“We have net migration, we have cash buyers, there’s a lot of people that are coming here that still see the value of your house, so its a nice positive surprise to (property sellers), which makes us feel good as realtors,” said Barry Klatt, real estate agent with Alberta RE, Real Broker.

Other agents say its easier to have conversations with property sellers in this market about price stability, when the energy recession between 2015 and 2019 meant prices softened.

“We have more buyers than we do have inventory, so sellers should be confident. We’re going to be able to sell your product,” said Cynthia Culhane, also with Alberta RE, Real Broker.

Although rising interest rates to cool inflation are having an effect elsewhere in the country, the report from CREB say migration into Calgary is staving that off.

Mortgage specialists agree.

“There’s no question these rates have jumped significantly so its putting some people out and pricing some out of the market,” Josh Higgelke, broker, Mortgage Connection, “but that being said we’ve been lucky here in calgary that our house values aren’t the same as some of these other major centres so its still for many business as usual.”

On Wednesday, the governor of the Bank of Canada is expected to add another quarter percentage point – raising lending rates from 4.25 up to 4.5 per cent.

But, as cooling trends continue, Calgary’s housing market is uniquely expected to stay lukewarm.

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