The future of Calgary’s Real Estate Market (the meat and potatoes). 


If you are like me, you like to push all the fluff to the side & get straight to the point.  Although the statistical nerd in me also likes to dive into stats which can be a long and winding road taking forever to get to your destination.  So in an effort to save you loads of time, I’m going to venture to extract from the many forecasts and stats I’ve read and offer you a bulleted list of deets which will give you good insight into where our Calgary Real Estate Market is heading in the next few years.  At the end I’ll include the various sources.

Here we go:


Covid and the Real Estate Market


→ Reductions in employment were evident before Covid.

             20K jobs lost in Feb
             40K jobs lost in March
             Immediate impact was very significant
             Professional & scientific sectors reflected the oil industry in job loses


→ Sales in April dropped 63% compared to April of 2019
             Listings also dropped at the same time which helped curtail over-inflated inventories
             Months of supply did push up to 10 months

             Benchmark price declined by 1.56% in April compared to April of 2019


→ Sales in May dropped 43% compared to May of 2019
             Listings also dropped 29%
             Months of supply retracted back to 5.4 months
             Benchmark price declined by 2.67% in May compared to May of 2019


→ Differentials seen btw average and median points out variances of impact in different sectors although the        benchmark is better when looking at the over-all market and long-term trends.
→ Most sales are occurring in lower price ranges
→ Higher price range absorption rates have increased substantially
→ Far steeper price declines in the higher range rather than the lower ranges
→ Deepest recession in AB history expected
→ RBC states Canada economy will retract by 8% and AB will have the greatest impact due to Covid & Energy
→ We still haven’t recovered from the 2015 recession.  Argh!


How does this compare to past recessions?


→ 80s:
             High interest rates
             Another recession happened in 1986 due to decline in oil prices
             Decreased migration levels due to job losses
             50K jobs lost with a provincial population of about 2 million
             1981 to 1985 average price dropped 22% with a slow decline of 3% in the first year with gradual increases per year. 

             Prices didn’t recover until 1989

             NOTE:  price decline trends take time to get traction and tend to take a long time to recover. 


→ 2008 Financial crisis:
             Huge impact but strong / quick rebound
             Decreased migration levels but far lower than the 80’s
             28K jobs lost so unemployment rates not as high as the 80s
             Prices declined btw 2007 and 2009 by 4.6% prices recovered in 2012. 


→ 2015:

             37K jobs lost with unemployment rates up over 8%
             The jobs replaced were not in the energy sector.  Most in the government, education, healthcare sectors
             Prices declined from 2014 to 2019 by 5.8% and still have not recovered. 


Now and moving forward:


→ Some of the programs that the Government put in place will help moving forward
→ This recession will take much longer to recover than past recessions
→ Bank of Canada has responded with Prime Lending Rate of 0.25%
→ Migration levels should be relatively stable in 2020 with some rebound in 2021.  Most migration is international, not inter-provincial.
→ 250K job losses expected with unemployment rates highest in recorded history
→ Job growth will rise in 2021 but unemployment rates in 2021 expected to be in the double digits
→ This recession is expected to persist for several years due to a delayed recovery in the energy sector.
→ Sales activity in the 2nd quarter expected to drop by 50%  but pick up in the 3rd quarter
→ As social distancing measures ease, this drop will level off but will still remain low
→ Price declines expected in 2020 by 3% Benchmark price city wide with higher drops in the higher price ranges.
→ Further price declines expected in 2021.


Energy:


→ Prices expected to remain low for several years
→ Western Canadian Select prices are in negative territory for several months
→ WTI will likely not recover for the next 2 years or more.
→ As Social distancing measures ease, demand for oil will increase
→ Storage is full so it will take time to absorb current supplies
→ Energy job losses will persist
→ Federal Government financial programs are not focused to assist the energy sector
→ Energy reflects 42% of our GDP and 25% of our work force
→ GDP is expected to drop 6% in 2020
→ 9% drop in employment in the energy sector
→ All other sectors of GDP expect to see declines with the exception of healthcare and education
→ Employment decline of 6% with no improvement until 2022. 


Risks:


→ Energy sector will cont. to struggle
→ 2nd wave of Covid?
→ How many companies will survive?
→ If jobs do not return in 2021, mortgage defaults will increase putting downward pressure on prices due to low precedents set within each sector. 
→ Can large companies like airlines survive through this?  If so, inflation may occur due to limited competition


Good news:


→ Government programs to ease the pain ie deferred mortgage payments (for now)
→ Potentially lower mortgage rates
→ Real Estate has been and will continue to be an essential service.
→ Governments (internationally) are willing to take on whatever debt is necessary to get through this difficult time. 
→ New Home Builders have not scaled back (yet) on starts.  Covid will ultimately affect their starts due to downward pressure on prices.  If not, there will be an over-supply for new homes which will ultimately lower prices. 
→ Mortgage Rates remain low.  Although the relationship between the Bank of Canada rate and Mortgage rates is not cohesive.  Mortgage rates may not see decreases that correlate with the BOC rate. 


What to pay attention to moving forward?


→ The first indicators of a recovering economy are:– Employment Market, Job numbers & Unemployment Rates. 
→ Easement on the financial stress-test for buyers to stimulate affordability – If the markets in Vancouver and TO begin to recover, then likely no change to the current stress test parameters.  Unfortunately, TO and Vancouver markets are not as impacted as the AB markets.  The Bank of Canada wants to ensure the Banks have enough liquidity.
→ The Political environment:  Ottawa doesn’t have a lot of interest in boosting the energy sector in AB & not a lot of international investment into AB for energy as well.  As far as diversification, there is nothing on the horizon to replace the 30% of AB’s GDP in energy.  Pending on the US’s response to international energy market, the US may engage in importing Canadian oil South to the US at significantly discounted rates rather than the US introducing US oil to the international markets causing international tension. 
→ US election:  If the Democrats get elected, any oil moving South will come to a hault. 


Figures 7 to 12 below indicate that the outlooks for housing indicators in Alberta and Saskatchewan are more heavily weighted to the downside compared with other provinces with no anticipated recoveries to current levels until sometime in 2023. For the complete CMHC report click here



Those of you who know me know that I tend to be overly optimistic and try to see the silver lining in all circumstances.  Although I want to be more optimistic about the next 2 years of Calgary’s / Alberta’s Real Estate Market.  With the facts / insights given above from people much smarter than me, it would be misleading of me to be overly optimistic at this point.  Times are tough at the moment, and it doesn’t appear to be getting better any time soon.  But, Albertans are resilient and we always find a way to not just survive, but thrive by our strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and determination! 


Conclusion:


Given that we’re in 2020, our vision for the future is far from perfect.  With that said, we need to make the best decisions we can based upon our current circumstances and the factual information we have before us. There are so many variables that will affect the best time for our clients to either buy or sell.  Each of you have entirely different circumstances that need to be taken into consideration separately.  For consultation specific to your circumstances, give us a call, we are always happy to chat with you!


At RealPros we view part of our role as educators; providing our clients with excellent information to help them make good educated decisions.  


I trust the above information gives you a good insight into Calgary's market. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us anytime. 


Keith Braun
RealPros Real Estate Consultants

Purpose Realty
Office: 403-547-1222

Toll Free: 1-855-547-1222

www.RealPros.ca
GOING THE EXTRA MILE!




Sources:  Calgary Real Estate Board - Canadian Mortgage & Housing – Canadian Real Estate Associations – Alberta Treasury Branch – Calgary Herald – Mortgage Sand Box



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After a strong start to 2020, economic conditions have dramatically changed, as COVID-19 is impacting all aspects of society.


The economic impact is starting to be felt across many industries. This includes the housing market.

March sales activity started the month strong, but quickly changed, as concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 brought about social distancing measures. This had a heavy 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 per cent compared to last year. This is 37 per cent lower than long-term averages. The drop in sales pushed March levels to the lowest recorded since 1995.

“The impact on the housing market will likely persist over the next several quarters,” said Lurie. “However, measures put in place by the government to help support homeowners through this time of job and income loss will help prevent more significant impacts in the housing market.”


New listings dropped by 19 per cent this month. This decline in new listings compared to sales caused supply levels to ease and helped prevent a larger increase in oversupply. Overall, the months of supply remain just below five months, similar to levels recorded last year.


Prices were already forecasted to ease this year due to oversupply in our market. In March, the citywide benchmark price was $417,400. This is nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels. The reduction in both sales and new listings should help prevent significant price declines in our market.


However, price declines will likely be higher than originally expected due to the combined impact of the pandemic and energy sector crisis.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS


Detached

  • Detached sales eased by 15 per cent this month, driven by pullbacks in all districts except the North, which remained flat compared to last year.
  • The decline in sales was met with a larger decline in new listings, causing inventories to fall by 17 per cent and keeping the months of supply slightly lower than last year’s levels.
  • Detached benchmark prices have remained relatively unchanged compared to last year at $480,800. Price declines this month continue to be the highest for the City Centre, North East and West districts.

Apartment

  • With 217 citywide apartment sales in March, this was the only category to record a year-over-year gain. Much of the gain was due to improving sales in the South, South East and North West districts.
  • New listings this month did ease, helping support a small decline in inventory levels.
  • Persistent oversupply has resulted in continued downward pressure on prices. In March, the citywide benchmark price eased by more than two per cent compared to last year for a total of $243,700.

Attached

  • Both semi-detached and row sales declined this month compared to last year. Like the other property types, there was also a significant reduction in new listings.
  • The decline in new listings helped push down inventory levels for both property types, but it was not enough to prevent a rise in the months of supply.
  • However, this segment was oversupplied prior to the recent changes, impacting prices. As of March, prices remained nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels for both semi-detached and row properties.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS


Airdrie

  • Like many other areas, Airdrie saw a decline in sales activity, along with a reduction in new listings and inventory. The reductions in supply and demand helped prevent any significant changes to the months of supply.
  • While the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis has not yet played out in the housing market, March prices remained comparable to last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • Both sales and new listings fell this month compared to last year, causing inventories to fall to the lowest levels in five years. Like many other markets, Cochrane remains oversupplied, with easing prices.
  • The March benchmark price was $398,700. This is nearly two per cent lower than the previous year.

Okotoks

  • Trends changed this month, with flat sales and a decline in new listings. The decline in new listings was enough to cause a significant reduction in supply levels and the months of supply fell below five months.
  • Prices are trending down on a monthly basis, but remain comparable to last year’s levels, with a March benchmark price of $405,000.


Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.


RealPros is here to help you navigate through these uncertain times.


Contact us anytime with your Real Estate questions or needs.  


Stay Healthy.  


Keith Braun
RealPros Real Estate Consultants

Purpose Realty
Office: 403-547-1222

Toll Free: 1-855-547-1222

www.RealPros.ca
GOING THE EXTRA MILE!

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There have been no significant changes occurring in sales activity, but the number of new listings coming onto the market continues to ease relative to 2018 levels. 


The decline in new listings was enough to start chipping away at overall inventory levels, which have eased slightly compared to last year.


The slight adjustment in supply levels has helped support further reductions in the months of supply, which was 4.6 months in April. While this level still represents oversupply in our market, it does reflect improvement from the nearly seven months of supply that we saw at the start of the year.


“Demand remains relatively weak in the resale market. However, if supply levels continue to adjust, this could help reduce the amount of oversupply and eventually support some price stability,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.


As of April, the total residential benchmark price in Calgary was $415,900. This is slightly higher than last month, but still nearly five per cent lower than last year’s levels.


Citywide sales were 1,547 units in April, two per cent higher than last year’s levels. Year-to-date sales remain nearly six per cent lower than last year and are 26 per cent below longer-term averages.


“Sales have been improving mostly in the lower price ranges, causing tighter supply conditions in that segment.  This will likely have a different impact on price trends in the lower price ranges depending on location,” said Lurie.


HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Detached sales improved by nearly three per cent in April compared to last year, due to gains in homes priced under $500,000. However, with 930 sales, activity still remain 24 per cent below long-term averages.  Recent gains were also not high enough to offset pullbacks earlier in the year, causing year-to-date sales to fall by over five per cent.
  • Improving sales did not occur across all districts. In April, there was growth in the North East, North West, South and South East districts of the city. Despite some signs of sales improvement, overall sales activity remains well below 10-year averages throughout every region in the city.
  • April detached inventories citywide continue to remain just above levels recorded last year. Months of supply remain relatively unchanged at four months.
  • The amount of oversupply has varied significantly depending on the area of the city. Months of supply has only risen in the City Centre, South and West districts of the city.
  • Despite some of the adjustments occurring in the detached sector, overall April prices remain lower than last year’s levels across all districts. Year to date, the largest year-over-year declines occurred in in the City Centre, North West and South districts.

Apartment

  • Despite the affordability of apartment condominiums, sales activity continues to fall across the city and in most districts. There have been 714 apartment condominium sales so far this year, the lowest level since 2001.
  • The decline in new listings has started to outweigh the sales decline, causing inventories to ease. As of April, resale apartment condominium inventories totaled 1,546 units, 16 per cent lower than inventory levels last April.
  • The easing inventories have also caused the months of supply to decline to just above six months. While this is still a buyers’ market, this trend could help ease the downward pressure on prices if it continues.
  • Apartment condominium prices in April totalled $250,400, comparable to last month, but over two per cent below last year’s levels and nearly 17 per cent below 2014 highs.

Attached

  • Attached sales activity improved compared to last year’s levels for the second straight month, almost offsetting the declines occurring in the first two months of the year.  Year-to-date sales were 1,113 units, nearly one per cent below last year’s levels, and 14 per cent below long-term averages.
  • Year-to-date sales have improved in all districts except the City Centre, North West and West.
  • Improved sales and easing listings have helped prevent further inventory gains in this sector and overall months of supply have trended down to five months.
  • Following several months of prices trending down, semi-detached benchmark prices in April rose over the previous month. However, prices remain over five per cent below last year’s levels at $395,300.
  • Row prices were $284,900 in April, over five per cent below last year’s levels.


REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Stronger sales in March and April offset earlier declines, causing year-to-date sales to total 363 units, similar to levels recorded last year. New listings continue to decline, causing April inventories to ease compared to last year. Months of supply remain elevated at five months, but this is a notable improvement compared to last year, when months of supply was over six months.
  • Rising sales and easing inventories helped prevent further price declines in April compared to March. However, overall, April prices remained nearly four per cent below last year’s levels. Prices have eased across all property types, with the largest year-to-date decline in the apartment sector at eight per cent.

Cochrane

  • Despite improving sales in April, year-to-date sales in Cochrane eased by six per cent compared to last year. However, new listings have also eased, helping reduce some of the inventory in the market.  While inventories and months of supply remain elevated, for the first time since June 2018, the months of supply fell below six months.
  • Some improvement with oversupply has likely prevented further monthly declines in prices. As of April, total benchmark prices remain over three per cent below last year’s levels for a total of $415,100.

Okotoks

  • Despite some recent improvements in sales, year-to-date sales activity slowed compared to last year. New listings have also eased, but it was not enough to prevent further inventory gains, keeping months of supply above five months.
  • The amount of oversupply has impacted prices. April residential prices totalled $406,700. This is nearly four per cent below last year’s levels. Price declines were slightly higher in the attached sector, with a year-over-year decline of nearly five per cent.

Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package.

Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package.


Sellers:  Because of the diversity of Calgary's Market Sectors, the perfect timing to bring your home into the market will hinge on the specific market niche your home sits within and the Absorption Rates of that specific market niche'.  Sellers who need to sell asap need to price their homes competitively and continue to monitor the market closely as new precedents are being set within the market.  They also need to stage and maintain their home exceptionally well to show its best light for all prospective buyers.  Contact us for professional insight into the specific niche which your property lies within and the best timing to sell your home.


Buyers should closely monitor the market for homes that meet their criteria and make decisions based upon long term goals.  Added due diligence is required to ensure they don’t pay too much and have the necessary terms and conditions to protect their interests.  Remember to get pre-qualified with a good mortgage broker to guarantee the rates of today.  In your pre-approval process, try to arrange for at least 90 days and preferably 120 days for your interest rate guarantee.  It is very important for buyers to consider carefully the niche which their attention lies and get good professional advice on their next purchase accordingly.  We, at RealPros, believe in providing you with excellent information to help you make great educated decisions!

There are so many variables that will affect the best time for our clients to either buy or sell.  For consultation specific to your circumstances, give us a call, we are always happy to chat with you!


What lies ahead is yet to be seen, although past performance is the best indicator of future performance  and the Calgary's Market Cycle can offer some added insight into how the market may play out in the months to come barring any unforeseen national or international market impacting events. 


Moving forward, particular attention will be on the Sales to List Ratios in each of the market segments along with the Absorption Rates, both of which are good barometers of the market's buoyancy.


Market intelligence really matters in today’s Real Estate environment.  Pricing trends have, and will continue to vary depending on product type, price range and location. Sellers in this market need to have a good understanding of activity within their specific niche of the market. This is where RealPros can help you navigate the varying market conditions to accomplish your Real Estate goals, which are always unique to each Buyer & Seller according to their personal circumstances.  


For additional Calgary market statistics click here.


broader perspectives of the market:

 

Click here to view CMHC'S Calgary Market Outlook


Click here to view is the CREB Housing Forecast Report


Click here to view the City of Calgary and Region Economic Outlook for the next 5 years:


Click here to view the REMAX Canadian Market Outlook


Click here to view the ATB's Alberta Economic Outlook


Click here to see Alberta’s Economic Dashboard!  A live snapshot look at the key indicators on Alberta’s economy.


There are so many variables that will affect the best time for our clients to either buy or sell.  For consultation specific to your circumstances, give us a call, we are always happy to chat with you!


At RealPros we view part of our role as educators; providing our clients with excellent information to help them make good educated decisions.  


I trust the above information gives you a good insight into Calgary's market. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call anytime. 


Keith Braun

President
RealPros Real Estate Consultants

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