Calgary house prices to 'remain unchanged' in 2017 while condos fall 2%, CREB forecasts
Calgary Real Estate Board says sales activity this year will likely remain well below historical levels
House prices aren't expected to grow by a significant amount this year while condo prices are projected to fall by another two per cent, according to the 2017 outlook from the Calgary Real Estate Board.
The annual report, released Wednesday, forecasts total sales activity "well below normal levels for the city" and price impacts that vary depending on housing type.
After falling by 3.2 per cent in 2016, prices for detached homes are projected to rise by 0.8 per cent by the end of 2017.
Attached homes, meanwhile, fell by 4.1 per cent last year and are projected to increase in price by 0.5 per cent this year.
Those sub-one-per-cent forecasts mean house prices will effectively "remain unchanged" this year, according to CREB.
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It's the apartment/condominium sector that has been hit the hardest, falling in price by six per cent last year and forecast to fall another two per cent in 2017.
A total of 18,335 homes are expected to change hands in 2017, according to the forecast, which is three per cent more than last year but 12 per cent below long-term averages.
CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said last year was "a buyers' market, for sure" in Calgary but that is expected to start shifting, particularly in the latter half of 2017.
"What we're expecting is we're going to see it gradually shift into more balanced conditions," she said.
CREB president David Brown said he doesn't expect buyers to have their pick of price-reduced properties across the board in 2017.
"There are still some good deals in the market but you're probably not going to see dramatic prices drops as we maybe have seen in the previous years," he said.
"In the apartment-style condos, you may still see some deals available, but everything else is going to stabilize."
Risks on the horizon
CREB cautions that numerous risks may affect its projections for 2017.
The report assumes oil prices will average $50.66 per barrel this year — which is slightly below the $55 forecast from financial advisory firm Deloitte — but CREB warns the stability it expects in Alberta's energy sector could change "if those expectations fall short."
The report also notes the election of U.S. president Donald Trump comes with "uncertain impacts on the Canadian economy."
Mortgage decisions by the federal government, Bank of Canada and individual financial institutions could also affect the local housing market, according to CREB.
"Lending rule changes and mortgage rate increases could have a larger-than-expected impact on demand, preventing price stabilization in the Calgary market," the report reads.