Calgary's housing market remains static in 1st quarter of 2018
Home prices increased by a meagre 0.3 per cent in March 2018, up from last year
Calgary's housing market stayed fairly stagnant in March, and some say that unless buyers get something to be excited about, sales are unlikely to increase significantly throughout 2018.
The latest report from the Canadian Real Estate Association found Calgary's home prices increased by a meagre 0.3 per cent in March 2018 from the previous year.
Sales in the first quarter of 2018 dropped nearly 18 per cent below the same quarter last year, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board, and 24 per cent below long-term averages.
The benchmark price of a home in Calgary was $430,400 in March.
Consumers taking stock of tighter lending rules
Matthew Boukall of Altus Group, a real estate advisory agency, said consumers are taking stock of recent interest rate hikes and tighter lending rules.
Boukall predicted that unless something happens to shake up the Calgary market, it will likely remain fairly stable for the rest of the year.
"We're still having a pipeline fight unfortunately with B.C., job growth — while better — is still relatively flat, and if you look at the vacancy market, on the rental side there are still a lot of housing options out there for consumers outside of ownership, so we're not feeling the pressure to really get people back into the market buying very actively," he said.
"I think resolution on the pipeline battle would be a positive sign, it is dragging on much longer than people thought … just some resolution and direction."
National home sales edged up 1.3 per cent between February and March, but national sales activity in the first quarter of 2018 was its lowest since 2014.
Calgary real estate agent Emma May said the new federal rules were intended to cool hot markets in Vancouver and Toronto, but the impact is also being felt significantly in Calgary.
"Right now we've got at least four months worth of inventory … we've got some hard stuff happening right now," she said.
"You've got economic uncertainty in Alberta, that is continuing, and it's getting harder and harder for people to get mortgages."
May said she doesn't see prices increasing anytime soon.
"We are by no means anywhere near or coming back to where we were."
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With files from Colleen Underwood