Calgary real estate has 'moderate' overvaluation risk but 'weak' evidence of bubble: CMHC

There is some evidence Calgary homes are over-valued but the city's broader real-estate conditions are unlikely at the point of a housing bubble, according to the latest report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

House prices posted 'robust gains' over past years while income growth slowed

Home prices in Calgary may be moderately overvalued, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, as price growth outpaced income growth in recent years. (Sheryl Nadler/CBC)

There is some evidence Calgary homes are overvalued but the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says broader real-estate conditions are unlikely to be problematic to the point of a housing bubble.

"There is moderate evidence of overvaluation detected as house prices posted robust gains in the last couple of years while growth in personal disposable income has recently slowed down," reads the latest CMHC Housing Market Assessment report, released today.

"Due to low oil prices, economic conditions have moderated, which has limited growth in employment and income, as well as reduced net migration."

Overall, however, the report says there is "weak evidence of problematic conditions" in Calgary's housing market.

In preparing its Housing Market Assessment, the CMHC looks at things like population growth, changes in personal disposable income and interest rates, in addition to local developments in the home construction and resale markets.

It then rates the evidence of problematic conditions in five areas: overheating, price acceleration, overvaluation, overbuilding, and overall assessment.

The only warning sign for Calgary was in the overvaluation category, which was rated as moderate, the same rating the CMHC assigned the city in that category in August.

Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax also had moderate ratings for overvaluation, while Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City were rated as high.

CMHC says the framework was developed "on the basis of its ability to detect problematic housing market conditions in historical data, such as the house price bubble Toronto experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s."


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