In the early months of the pandemic, the Calgary economy was struggling, and the real estate market was struggling alongside it. Yet, renewed confidence and more control over the COVID-19 outbreak has led more people to dip their toes into real estate once again. Although the COVID-19 outbreak persists, people continue to see the value of property in Calgary.
Here’s a closer look at the recovery of the Calgary real estate market:
Calgary Home Prices
Calgary has long offered first-time homebuyers a more affordable option compared to other large Canadian cities like Vancouver or Toronto. In August 2020, Calgary’s average price for a single-family home was $466,000 while for an apartment it was $248,500. This is significantly less than average prices in Vancouver for single-family homes ($1,501,900) and apartments ($685,800). Notably, Toronto prices were not much less than Vancouver, sitting at $592,900 for apartments and $999,200 for single-family homes.
As an increasing number of people across other provinces migrate further away from dense urban sprawl in search of more square footage, Calgary is a prime choice for a balanced lifestyle at the right price. Residents can enjoy proximity to greenspace along with views of the mountains and a city-feel; this prairie city provides residents with the best of everything.
The Impact of Unemployment on Calgary’s Recovery
Earlier in the pandemic, one of the key factors affecting real estate in Calgary was the record-high unemployment rate. Calgary’s energy sector had faced devastating losses. Many believed the challenges posed to this sector may have lingering effects on the job market’s ability to fully bounce back.
Without enough financial power it was difficult for people in this city to invest in real estate thus slowing down market activity. Ultimately, mounting household debt also sidelined more potential homebuyers. Since the highest paying industries were hurt, this caused recovery to start with more affordable housing versus high-end housing.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen some jobs come back to the market which is helping to boost the economy and as a result, helping people purchase real estate. Calgary has seen marked improvements compared to the record lows experienced during the mandated COVID-19 isolation period, but economists say this city is still early in its journey to recovery.
Low Interest Rates
The Bank of Canada has lowered the benchmark interest rate to 0.25%. This is the lowest the rate has ever been and could encourage more people to take advantage in order to purchase homes. The government made this decision to bolster the economy, and within market like Calgary’s, the rate drop has been beneficial. For those who have had issues securing the mortgage funds they need at an affordable rate, this may be the right time to leap into the Calgary real estate market.
The Calgary Housing Market Activity is Gaining Momentum
A recent upward trend in the Calgary real estate market includes rising home sales and new supply. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board here’s how each property type performed in the market in September, giving us a general idea of current market activity:
In the month of September, sales were the highest they’ve been since 2014. With sales figures improving, this is driving prices up slightly. It’s also important to note that the recent gains in this property segment are driven by the affordable end of the market, not necessarily the luxury end.
Sales for townhomes have also significantly increased compared to the year prior. Homebuyers may be attracted by the 7 per cent reduction in sale prices in this segment of the market year-over-year and also the fact that prices are 17 per cent lower compared to previous highs. Considering the apparent affordability, this may be an opportune time to purchase in this end of the market.
With new listings coming to market, sales have improved for this property type, but slower than row houses and single-detached houses. Inventory levels overall are 21 per cent lower than last year, helping to reduce downward pressure on pricing. That being said, prices for semi-detached homes are starting to improve within certain districts in the city, including South, South East and East Calgary.
Unlike other types of properties, demand in the apartment condominium segment of the market is declining. Interestingly, this market segment is not experiencing the year over year gains like its counterparts. In September, year-to-date sales decreased by 16 per cent even with new inventory of condos entering the market.
This shift could be changing attitudes due to COVID-19. As people pivoted to work from home arrangements and home schooling their children in a city environment, this has fueled the desire for more living space. Being cooped up in condos during isolation without access to a lot of greenspace may explain the mounting demand for properties with larger floorplans and ample-sized backyards.
A closer look at the Calgary real estate market shows us that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and job loss, affordability continues to drive the market. This market is early in its recovery but is showing promising signs of maintaining this momentum as we move towards 2021.
Real estate booms in the West Kootenay – WellandTribune.ca
It’s a seller’s market out there for people thinking of buying or selling property in the West Kootenay.
Real estate agents across the region say despite the pandemic, they’re running off their feet.
“It’s been the most active past two years in the last 12 years,” says Bill Lander of Coldwell Banker in Nelson.
In Nakusp, New Denver, and the Arrow Lakes areas, realtors report sales are up about 13% over 2019. The actual number of residential sales within the Village of Nakusp is down from last year (mainly because of low inventory), but vacant land is hot, as are commercial property sales. Overall, residential home prices in Nakusp are up about 18% this year over 2019.
In Kaslo, Kul Nijjar of Fair Realty’s Kootenay BC Property Matchmakers says 47 properties have been sold to date “with a few others that sold without even being listed.” Nijjar is on track to beat last year’s sales of 49 units. The average sale price to date in Kaslo this year is up 12.2%.
The Slocan Valley has seen ‘robust’ sales the last two years, says Lander. This year, Lander made 74 sales, at an average sale price of $279,000, about 94% of asking price. Last year, he made 81 sales up the valley, at an average $306,000.
The average sale price is murkier in the Slocan Valley, where a couple of large sales in the last two years skewed the averages. But Lander says he figures prices are comparatively flat for the last two years, compared to the rest of the province.
Demand outpacing supply
Supply is an important factor in determining price. It’s been especially tight in Nakusp.
“[A] lack of inventory has turned towards a ‘seller’s-type market,’” says Kelly Roberts of Selkirk Reality. “Our office has the lowest listing inventory that I have seen in probably the past 25 years.”
She says locals buying into the tight market have kept Nakusp hot.
“I think some of this increase may be due to the COVID pandemic,” she adds. “I think the pandemic has perhaps pushed some of the fence sitters off on our side… those that were maybe wondering if they should move out of the city decided the time had come.”
With mortgage deferrals due to the pandemic scheduled to end soon, more houses may enter the market, stabilizing prices, say analysts. But other factors may mean the good times – at least for sellers – will continue.
“The hot construction market has also helped sell existing stocks,” says Coldwell Banker’s Lander. “Increased building material costs has definitely increased the value of ‘used’ housing.
“Trades workers are booked,” he says. “Development land has had a significant increase in costs as well.”
Like for most of us, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year for real estate agents. When the pandemic hit, the industry was essentially shut down. Both buyers and sellers were concerned about participating in the sales process. But as the situation stabilized, other trends that boosted local sales began to establish themselves.
“The COVID trend of being able to work remotely is also driving the market,” says Coldwell Banker’s Lander.
“I think we’re seeing that more people are able to work from home now so these people are buying in our area,” adds Selkirk Realty’s Roberts. “There are also those that are securing property in our area to eventually build and move here.”
“Once COVID hit it certainly has changed how people viewed living in rural, smaller areas in Canada. We just got busier and busier,” says Kaslo’s Nijjar. “A lot of people who are able to work remotely are attracted to our areas – having fibre available in Kaslo and area certainly helps those buyers.
“It’s also nice to see a few more families be interested in living here. More full-time residences are being purchased, whereas in the past we have seen people buy recreational/ seasonal properties.”
And as prices rise in the Okanagan and points west, the wave has moved towards the Kootenays.
“As real estate prices were going up in the busier areas like the Lower Mainland and Okanagan, that allowed those sellers to purchase properties here for little or no financing,” explains Nijjar. “For example, someone could sell their house for around a million dollars and then be able to buy larger properties or on the lake or with lake views [here] for considerably less.
“I’m seeing many buyers from Revelstoke, Rossland and Golden coming in with equity take-outs,” agrees Lander.
However, the realtors say they’re concerned about the economic impact of the second wave of COVID, and how long the hurt will go on.
“If it continues like it has been, then I foresee another busy market this spring, providing we have the inventory to sell,” says Roberts. “However, depending on what the COVID pandemic long-term effects are to our economy, things could certainly change in the next 6-12 months.”
Provincially, analysts remain bullish on BC’s real estate outlook for 2021.
“Multiple Listing Service residential sales in the province are forecast to rise 16.9% to 90,450 units this year, after recording 77,350 residential sales in 2019,” says a release from the BC Real Estate Association, adding that residential sales are forecast to increase 9.7% to 99,240 units in 2021.
“We are forecasting the provincial MLS average price to finish the year up 9.9% and to increase a further 2.6% in 2021.”
Still, 2020 is not a year realtors will soon forget.
“All I can add is that 2020 saw very strange, unprecedented market conditions in our area – something I’ve never quite seen in the 32 years I have been in this business,” says Roberts.
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate markets not slowing down – Kelowna Capital News
Home sales in the Central, North Okanagan and Shuswap markets continue to soar.
According to the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB), residential sales in November of this year topped last year’s sales by 71 per cent, but came in at 15 per cent less than October’s 1,062 sales.
The supply of homes, OMREB found, still struggles to meet the high demand.
“We continue to see high residential housing demand despite a mild seasonal slowdown generally seen during this time of year,” said OMREB President Kim Heizmann said in an announcement on Dec. 2.
“Looking at the numbers we can see that consumer demand is not being met due to record low listings, which creates upward pressure on pricing. Essentially, the demand is so high that is difficult for inventory to build up.”
Compared to 2019, single-family homes across the board have increased in sales and price. In November, the most homes in the region sold in the Central Okanagan, totalling 291 sales. The highest average price also rested in the Central Okanagan, at $728,900, up 10. 5 per cent from last year. The lowest prices in the region, while also climbing, are found in Shuswap/Revelstoke, at $480,600. The North Okanagan fell between the two.
It’s a similar story for townhouses, as well as condos/apartments. However, condos in Shuswap/Revelstoke are closer in price to those in the Central Okanagan, at $342,000 compared to $387,300.
The average number of days to sell single-family homes substantially decreased, by about 20 per cent across the board compared to last year.
However, compared to October, the number of days to sell all home types went up 8 per cent to 88 days.
For more information on your local real estate market, visit OMREB.com, or contact your local Realtor.
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Record-Setting Sales Continue in November on Montreal's Real Estate Market – GlobeNewswire
L’ÎLE-DES-SŒURS, Quebec, Dec. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) has just released its residential real estate market statistics for the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) for the month of November, based on the real estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.
A new November sales record was set in the Montreal CMA despite the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential sales jumped by 32 per cent compared to November of last year.
“We also saw a historic 57 per cent increase in the number of new condominium listings on the Island of Montreal, the highest level since the year 2000 when the real estate brokers’ Centris system began compiling market data,” said Charles Brant, director of market analysis at the QPAREB.
- Year-to-date sales have increased by 7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
- Sales continued to increase in several periphery markets, including the North Shore (+48 per cent), the South Shore (+37 per cent), Laval (+34 per cent) and Vaudreuil-Soulanges (+32 per cent), as well as on the Island of Montreal (+21 per cent). In contrast, sales in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu slowed, registering a 3 per cent increase, due primarily to a record drop in new listings in this market over the past several quarters.
- By property category, plexes (2 to 5 dwellings) registered the largest sales increase (+34 per cent) followed closely by condominiums (+31 per cent) and single-family homes (+31 per cent).
- There was a significant increase in active listings for condominiums (+14 per cent) and plexes (+7 per cent), numbers that have not been seen for a month of November since 2012 and 2014, respectively. This was in contrast to single-family homes, which registered a sharp decline (-38 per cent).
- With market conditions that are still very much to the advantage of sellers, median prices continued to increase significantly for single-family homes (+23 per cent) but tended to slow down for condominiums and plexes (+9 per cent).
If you would like additional information from the Market Analysis Department, such as specific data or regional details on the real estate market, please write to us.
Book your interview for December 16!
On December 16, the QPAREB will unveil its assessment of the 2020 real estate market, along with its forecasts for 2021 and an analysis of the impact of COVID-19. A press release will be issued on November 16. Please reserve your time slot for an interview now at email@example.com.
About the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers
The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) is a non-profit association that brings together more than 13,000 real estate brokers and agencies. It is responsible for promoting and defending their interests while taking into account the issues facing the profession and the various professional and regional realities of its members. The QPAREB is also an important player in many real estate dossiers, including the implementation of measures that promote homeownership. The Association reports on Quebec’s residential real estate market statistics, provides training, tools and services relating to real estate, and facilitates the collection, dissemination and exchange of information. The QPAREB is headquartered in Quebec City and has its administrative offices in Montreal. It has two subsidiaries: Centris Inc. and the Collège de l’immobilier du Québec. Follow its activities at qpareb.ca or via its social media pages: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Société Centris provides real estate industry stakeholders with access to real estate data and a wide range of technology tools. Centris tools are used by close to 14,000 real estate brokers, as well as other industry professionals. Centris also operates Centris.ca, the most visited real estate website in Quebec.
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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7999a601-9834-44d3-bb9d-6e3ec1c4df6f
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