If you are looking for houses for sale in Calgary, a number of factors are making 2015 a buyer’s market.
Calgary real estate transactions dropped 37% between January 2014 and January 2015. The total sales in Calgary fell 39% from January 2014 to January 2015. Over that same twelve month period, active listings rose 64%. The number of homes rose from 2,500 to 4,000 properties. This ended a nearly four year period of expansion. Until the oil prices began to drop in 2014, Calgary was the strongest housing market in Canada based on the rate of price increases.
The oil industry drove new construction to meet the demand of workers moving to the market, and these properties are coming on the market even as employment has stalled. This will bring new properties onto the market and prices low.
The decline in house values and rise in available properties is blamed on falling oil prices. This led to the oil patch cutting back on employment numbers, hours worked and even layoffs. You end up with more motivated sellers and greater selection for home buyers.
Calgary real estate remains just below the national average, significantly below Toronto prices and far below the cost of real estate in Toronto. This is in part because Toronto and Vancouver have lower listing levels, and the low national interest rates will keep demand in those markets high even while demand in Calgary softens. If the Bank of Canada cuts interest rates further, this will bolster other housing markets in Canada but not make up for the softening demand in Alberta.
What does this mean for the average home buyer?
- More listings on the market equals more selection.
- Prices are projected to remain stable if not fall, depending on the source. If you’ve been unable to afford a home until now, recognize that this is a buyer’s market.
- The drop in oil prices and related employment means that there are more good deals as people need to sell a house to avoid foreclosure.
- A drop in interest rates will make housing in Calgary more affordable without reducing the supply for new home buyers.
- Houses aren’t going to get snapped up as fast as they were going, so you have more opportunities to negotiate a good deal.
- While Calgary has ridden the oil boom and its real estate values have gone up over the past four years, it remains one of the most affordable real estate markets in Canada. Nor do you need to worry about ending up upside down in the property, because Calgary’s real estate market won’t lose half its value as Las Vegas, Nevada and some areas in Florida did during the 2008 Great Recession.
- If you need to sell your home in another province to move to Calgary, know that you can get a good price for the old property and great deal on the new one.
- If you are moving from one home to another in Calgary, you’ll get a good deal on the new house but it will take time to sell the prior home. However, you’ll want to get the house on the market now in case property prices drop later.