Although some media headlines recently have had people asking me if a real estate crash is coming, many of the more pessimistic figures out there are coming from other large cities in Canada, not from Calgary. After four slower years (2008-2011), we have seen a renewed excitement in the real estate market in 2012 with the number of sales recording big jumps from 2011 and prices steadily rising.
The best news, though, comes from the employment statistics. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently released unemployment rates for many countries throughout the world. Canada is doing fairly well in 6th place in the industrialized world at around 7%. However, if Alberta was counted as its own country, it would be in 4th place overall at just 4.5%, behind only Japan, Korea and Norway.
When compared to countries like Spain (24.6%) and Greece (21.9%), we can certainly be counting our blessings. Imagine if one of every four of your friends was unable to find work… that would certainly have an effect on a country’s financial, cultural and emotional well-being, not to mention the real estate market.
The total year-to-date residential sales for Calgary and surrounding areas is at 17,480. This is a 21% jump from 2011’s 14,420 sales at the same time last year. Many of these sales are undoubtedly coming from renewed confidence in Calgary’s job market. Not only that, but prices this year have crept up to very close to our peak pricing from summer 2007. May 2012’s average single-family price was $502,000, just slightly off the July 2007 peak of $506,000! This means that almost anyone that has bought a home in the past 10 years can sell it for as much or more than they spent on it, which eliminates a barrier that has been holding some Calgarians back from selling for the past few years.
More optimism is found the recently released Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) Forecast Update: “A predicted housing price correction in Canada of 10-15 per cent is driven by activity in Vancouver and Toronto. The Alberta Housing Market, meanwhile, has been slow to recover from recessionary lows and will likely buck the national trend and strengthen over the next few years. Calgary is experiencing a solid economic recovery, supported by accelerating growth in the oil sector and employment gains in well-paying, full-time jobs.” They go on to say that Calgary is one of the most affordable metro cities in Canada.
CREB is predicting an overall 3% rise in single-family prices for 2012 over 2011. The condo market numbers aren’t quite as optimistic, remaining virtually unchanged at less than 1% growth from 2011.
This fall might be the right time for you to buy or sell. Contact me for up-to-date stats on your community.