Alberta home prices in moderate decline for 2016
As oil continues to plunge, and the Canadian dollar in apparent freefall, residents of Calgary are keeping a close eye on the seemingly tenuous housing market, but a new report says things aren’t as bleak as once thought.
Realtor Royal Lepage, which released a fourth quarter house price survey on Wednesday, says that prices of Canadian homes haven’t dropped, but have actually increased albeit at a slower rate.
In the report, the realtor says the average price of a Canadian home increased 6.5 percent to $500,688 in the fourth quarter of last year, compared to the same period on 2014.
The average cost of a two-storey home nationwide climbed to $610,134 in the quarter, up nearly eight percent compared with the previous year.
The price of a bungalow rose 5.4 percent year-over-year to $420,082, while the average price of a condo grew 3.1 per cent to $341,448.
Royal LePage says it expects the average cost of a Canadian home to rise by a more moderate 4.1 per cent over the course of 2016.
Here in Alberta, the agency says that the average price of homes in Calgary will likely decrease by three percent in 2016. Edmonton’s housing market will see a decline of two percent in the same period.
Through the year, the realtor says the market will slow because of the eroding affordability in Toronto and Vancouver, and the drop in the price of oil.
Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper says that large increases in the big markets of Toronto and Vancouver are expected to level out through the year.
"While most of the country will continue to see house value appreciation in 2016, we expect that the pace of price increases in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area - where real estate appreciation has significantly outpaced job and wage growth - will settle to a more sustainable, single-digit price increase trajectory," Soper said in a statement.
The Calgary Real Estate Board released their numbers on Wednesday as well, saying that sales activity is likely to drop by 2.2 percent, while the average price of a home is expected to drop by nearly four percent in 2016.
This means 2016 will be a buyer's market.
"This is a buyer's market; this is a bonafide buyer's market. I don't see that changing this year," said CREB president Cliff Stevenson. "The sellers need as much information they can get - market data and market intelligence. Our members are well equipped to provide that for them. This is a year where sellers will have to be very nimble and they'll have to look at their price very very closely. Long gone are the days where you'd have to sit on the market for months on end waiting for someone to make an offer to you. It's very, very important to act quickly this year."
CREB does say that losses in the housing market are not expected to extend much beyond 2016.
According to the city, which mailed out property and business tax assessments last week, Calgary’s housing market is faring well in the depressed economy.
The average price of a home in Calgary is $480,000, about $5,000 up from last year. Condos, however, have dropped in price by about $10,000, coming to an average price of about $280,000.
(With files from the Canadian Press)