Calgary Doing Well In Real Estate Resale Market, Tops Teranet Bank List

Posted by Alan Zunec on Friday, April 19th, 2013 at 8:24pm.

March was a good month for Calgary’s real estate market, particularly in the resale end of things. The city took the top spot in Canada as far as the best price growth when comparing one month to the next, according to a just released survey by the Teranet National Bank. Its composite House Price Index noted that prices in Calgary went up by 1.3 percent after seeing them decline for the prior three months. That decline added up to a 2.2 percent deficit. Comparing this March to March of 2012, prices in Calgary increased by 5.7 percent.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Calgary senior market analyst, Richard Cho, noted that availability in the resale market has dropped. More buyers along with fewer properties do help bring real estate prices up. Employment is still gaining and more people are moving into the city to take advantage of that job market. Calgary, it seems, is bustling.

Of the 11 markets in the survey, combined they showed that prices increased by 0.4 percent nationwide between March of 2013 and the prior February. Looking at March 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, the increase was 2.6 percent. Surveyors tracked prices of homes via public land registries, including all properties that have changed hands at least two times.

The increase in March broke a streak of declines, six months long that together saw prices decrease by 1.8 percent. Nine of the surveyed markets saw price increases. Edmonton saw an increase of 1 percent after a four month stretch of decline, combined creating a 2 percent drop. Montreal saw an increase of 0.7 percent. That city also saw decreasing prices for the last six months, totaling a 2.1 percent decrease. Toronto, coming off a five month long price decline with a total of 1.8 percent, saw a 0.2 percent gain in March.

Other cities to see increases included Vancouver at 0.8 percent, Quebec City at 0.4 percent, Winnipeg and Halifax both at 0.3 percent and Ottawa-Gatineau with a 0.1 percent gain. Hamilton saw a 0.9 percent decrease and Victoria home prices were down 3.2 percent. The latter city saw the greatest decline, month over month, in nearly 23 years.

Real estate prices tend to come down in the spring, so all eyes will be watching and waiting. Capital Economics’ Amna Asaf, an economist, noted that Edmonton and Calgary have most likely seen the worst of the housing price corrections in their respective markets.

How prices play out across the rest of Canada is anyone’s guess. There appears to be more homes available on a nationwide basis, currently a 6.5 month supply, compared to what was available last March. A year ago that supply figure was 5.8 months. The ten year average comes in at 5.2 percent. Sales are also trending downward. All of this is leading some to predict home prices will reduce by roughly 25 percent, at least in some parts of Canada, within the next few years.

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