Calgary’s healthy housing market bucks national trend

It seems as though every time I turn on the radio or my computer lately, I am hearing and seeing headlines about real estate in Canada… and not just because I’m a realtor. It’s been a hotly debated topic lately, with much discussion about bubbles building, bubbles bursting, household debt, mortgage rule changes, employment numbers and US economic ties.

It’s easy to be worried when you see headlines like this in the Globe and Mail on Monday: Year-over-year home sales plunge 15.1 per cent in September

Yet, on the same day, the Calgary Herald posted this article: Calgary year-over-year housing sales growth best in Canada

While it’s true that the national statistics are showing signs of slowing down, especially in major markets like Vancouver, Alberta continues to fare quite well in the jobs market and demographics, both of which have a large influence on the real estate market. This graph demonstrates Alberta’s nation-leading population growth over the past year. Alberta’s average age is also the youngest in the country at 36.1 years, almost four years younger than the national average, meaning more people in their prime working (and real estate buying) years.

Migration numbers are also on the rise, with 28,000 Canadians moving from other provinces to Alberta in the past year, along with 34,500 international immigrants.

Although sales numbers in Calgary have started their habitual decline toward the end of the calendar year, we are still up over last year’s numbers and at a healthy level for our city. Single family sales were 1,132 for September, up from 1,035 in September 2011. The benchmark price is up 8.2% from last year, at $432,900.

Condo numbers are also up slightly, from 236 sales in September 2011 to 276 sales last month. The benchmark condo price is up 3.8% from last year to $249,300. Keep in mind, these numbers do not include townhome condominiums as we have now separated those two categories. The townhome benchmark price is up 2.2% to $277,700.

A few other articles piqued my interest over the past week so if you are looking for some extracurricular reading, have a look at the Conference Board of Canada’s article The Calgary Housing Market: Oil Remains a Key Lubricant as well as the Globe and Mail’s Is Canada immune from a housing bubble?

If you would like specific stats for your area or have any other questions about the market, I’m happy to hear from you by email ([email protected]), phone/text (403-852-0262) or a good old-fashioned face-to-face meeting.