Calgarians keep going home


Home sales in Calgary might have slipped slightly in August, but it’s hardly anything to worry about. Unlike the large decline in sales activity in Vancouver and Toronto, the slight drop in Calgary appears to be mostly seasonally driven, the market action’s typically being highest in the spring and lowest in the winter. 

Residential sales hit 2,104 in September, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board. For context, pick yourtimeframe: it’s both a 7 per cent drop from August 2012 and a 14 per cent jump over September 2011. After climbing through the spring, average residential prices stood at $419,000 in September.

The real estate board also offered a unique look at how the housing prices changed, taking into account attributes such as number of rooms, finished or unfinished basements, and number of bathrooms. This price metric showed home prices have done fairly well in Calgary over the year—up 6.5 per cent. By contrast, the simple average residential price was down about 1 per cent over September 2011.

A big factor this year has been the jump in interprovincial migration. As of the second quarter of 2012, Alberta had seen a net increase of over 20,000 inter-provincial migrants—who all need places to call home. This is more than the previous three years combined, and puts 2012 on pace to record boom-time level migration numbers.

Inventory levels and building rates were still strong, meaning dramatic price spikes aren’t likely in the cards. But the migration boom will likely offset most of the drag on the market engineered by the federal government through changes to mortgage insurance requirements.

Will van ‘t Veld – Economist, ATB Financial  October 4, 2012

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