Prospective homebuyers in Alberta confident in the market


22% are first-time purchasers in the next two years

CALGARY — A national survey of prospective homebuyers, who intend to buy within the next 24 months, indicates nearly one-in-five in Alberta are single people.

The RE/MAX Canadian Homebuying Trends Survey 2013-2014, released on Tuesday, said 42 per cent are couples and 38 per cent are families.

The report also indicated 22 per cent of them are first-time buyers, 32 per cent second-time buyers and 47 per cent multi-time buyers.

“Today’s real estate consumer is more experienced and financially prudent than in the past,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president with RE/MAX of Western Canada. “Recent global events — in concert with new mortgage finance rules — have fuelled a more conservative mindset that will serve Canadians well moving forward. It seems the lessons of excess are being heeded.”

In Alberta, the survey found that prospective homebuyers fell in the following age categories — 18 per cent are 55 plus years old; 40 per cent are 18-34 years old; and 42 per cent are 35-54 years old.

The survey said 50 per cent of them are looking to buy in an urban area, 24 per cent suburban and 10 per cent rural.

The vast majority intend to buy in the $250,000 to $500,000 price category at 58 per cent, followed by 21 per cent in the under $250,000 range and 17 per cent in the $500,000 to $1 million range.

The survey also found that 32 per cent of Albertans intend to have a down payment of more than 30 per cent.

“Serious equity gains have bolstered the level of down payment homeowners can put forth,” said Ash. “As a result, they’re clearly in a stronger financial position.”

The survey also said that 50 per cent of Albertans believe housing values will rise in their area while 34 per cent believe they will remain the same. Seven per cent believe housing values will decline.

“Canadians remain confident in the future of housing — and this was demonstrated nationally across all demographics — regardless of income, gender, age, or location,” said Ash. “The level of enthusiasm bodes well, as a substantial barometer of market health. The outlook is positive.”

Twitter: MTone123

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Calgary house prices forecast to increase 2.5% this year!

Calgary house prices forecast to increase 2.5% this year: Royal LePage

Most of Canada expecting price appreciation to flatten

CALGARY — By the end of 2013, average house prices in Calgary are expected to increase 2.5 per cent, while most of Canada is expecting price appreciation to flatten, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Markey Survey Forecast released Tuesday.

And while Calgary will see a nine per cent hike in sales activity this year over last year, nationally the resale housing market will experience a decline of five per cent.

Ted Zaharko, broker and owner of Royal LePage Foothills, said market activity in Calgary is completely dependent on whether sellers bring listings to market since the buyer demand is there to have strong sales in the spring.

“Market activity could increase significantly in 2013, however, the listings are not materializing,” he said. “A possible solution is that buyers who wanted to sell after 2007, when the market softened, may be holding on to their properties for better market conditions. If those units come online, it may provide some additional inventory for buyers.”

By the end of 2013, Royal LePage expects the average national home price to be 1.0 per cent higher compared to 2012.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, detached bungalows in Calgary posted the largest year-over-year price increases, rising 5.8 per cent to $440,600. Prices for standard two-storey homes rose 4.8 per cent year-over-year to $434,667, while prices for standard condominiums increased slightly by 0.6 per cent year-over-year to $250,078.

Nationally, the average price of a home increased year-over-year between 2.0 and 4.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012. In the fourth quarter, standard two-storey homes rose 4.0 per cent year-over-year to $390,444, while detached bungalows increased 3.6 per cent to $356,790. National average prices for standard condominiums increased 2.0 per cent to $239,374.

“Employment created by the oilpatch continues to drive migration to Calgary and it’s difficult for this group to even find rental units let alone their dream home,” said Zaharko. “Detached bungalows performed the strongest because they are the preferred housing type for Baby Boomers who are typically looking to downsize the size of their home, but not necessarily the price.”

Compared with 2012, fewer homes are expected to trade hands in the first half of 2013 throughout Canada, which should slow the pace of home price growth.

Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage, said the national housing market is well into a cyclical correction and that fears of a sharp or drawn out collapse are unwarranted. Home prices have risen faster than salaries and wages for three years and the market requires time to adjust, he said.

“A helpful comparison is to reflect on the beginning of 2009 when the country was in the grips of a very grim global recession,” said Soper. “It was a bleak time, with plunging consumer confidence driven by rapidly spreading unemployment. The meltdown of the American banking and finance sector had sent their housing market into a downward spiral and our own real estate market saw home sale transactions fall dramatically.

“Price appreciation in Canada ground to a halt, but home values dropped only slightly. With economic fundamentals such as employment levels improving, we expect this cyclical correction to be short-lived.”

Twitter: MTone123

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald