Calgary Approaches $500,000

The average sale price of a single-family home in Calgary will flirt with the half-million dollar
mark this year, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board. In its 2008 forecast Wednesday, real estate board president Ed Jensen said the MLS average will increase by five per cent this year to $495,800 while condominium prices will rise by six per cent to an average of $335,300.

Total sales will dip by five per cent for both the condo and single-family markets, to 7,700 and 17,500 respectively, compared with 2007. “Two thousand and eight will be a good year and a year of opportunity for serious buyers and sellers,” said Jensen. “Seeing a solid Alberta economy, strong employment, predictions of movements to past levels of net migration, I see the Calgary market moving closer to normal market conditions — as normal as Calgary can be.”

According to the real estate board, single-family homes in the city averaged $472,230 in 2007, up 17.94 per cent from $400,398 in 2006. The average sale price of a condo was $316,370, an increase of 19.98 per cent from $263,684 in 2006. Single-family sales in 2007 were 18,438, down 3.5 per cent from the 19,113 recorded in 2006, while condo sales dropped by 1.9 per cent to 8,236 units compared with 8,396 the previous year.

Lai Sing Louie, senior market analyst in Calgary for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said the organization’s forecast for 2008 is similar to the real estate board’s. “We’re looking at about 5.5 per cent moderation in MLS sales and our price growth is in the same ballpark. We’re looking around the 3.5 to five per cent level, too,” said Louie. “There is a lot of supply out there. Going into the last part of the year we saw demand ease off. Some of that was because of the higher prices, but also there is a lower level of net migration that we’re seeing coming to Alberta.”

Several different real estate reports in the latter part of 2007 predicted average price growth in Calgary ranging from zero to 12 per cent. Jensen said the resale real estate market in 2007 came in like a lion and went out like a lamb. In the past six years, the city has experienced one of the hottest real estate markets on record. But in that atmosphere speculators and flippers have also come into the market and impacted its direction. “A portion of the real estate market has always had an investor component where most adhere to an invest-and-hold program,” said Jensen. “This type of investor is great for the marketplace, but investor flippers don’t care about the community and can create an artificial demand, which contributes to an artificial price increase situation.”

The Calgary market overheated in the past couple of years, setting records in nearly all areas and straining affordability, he said. But a change happened in the past few months. The city moved from a seller’s market, where the sellers could name their price, to a buyer’s market where there is a better supply of homes giving buyers better choice. “We’re just coming off two record years,” said Jensen. “Obviously, there’s lots of speculation with a lot of outside investors coming to the economy and I believe that artificially created new listing environments.”

The real estate board forecast for acreages and recreational properties indicates listings and sales will both decline by five per cent in 2008. The average sale price for rural properties will jump by five per cent to $875,600. For surrounding towns, sale prices will rise by five per cent to an average of $396,000.
Source Calgary Herald.

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Published in: on March 1, 2008 at 12:23 am  Comments (1)