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.”

mtoneguzzi@calgaryherald.com

Twitter: MTone123

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