Photo: Colby Stopa/Flickr

Despite new mortgage regulations and rising interest rates, brighter days are in store for Calgary’s housing market, thanks to first-time buyers and move-up buyers.

“In Alberta, first-time homebuyers looking for affordability in Calgary and Edmonton continue to drive the market forward, with single Millennials and young couples gravitating toward the relatively stable condominium market,” reads RE/MAX’s 2018 Spring Market Trends report, published today.

In the first two months of the year, the average price of a home in Calgary was $481,775, up 1.4 per cent from $475,288 during the same period a year ago. This spring, RE/MAX predicts that the average price of a home in Calgary will hit $500,219 during the April to June period, unchanged compared to the same period a year ago.

In the condo segment, the average price of a unit reached $316,873 in January and February — a 1.5 per cent increase over the same months in 2017.

While average prices rose during January and February 2018, Calgary’s residential sales fell to 2,053 units, down roughly 10 per cent from 2,277 units sold a year ago.

Although a new stress test, introduced on January 1, and rising interest rates weighed on activity in the beginning of the year, the RE/MAX says Calgary is still on a path to recovery.

“It continues to be a balanced market with detached single-family homes seeing the most demand. The upper-end of the market is seeing increased activity this year, as buyers continue to take advantage of the affordable luxury homes in Calgary,” reads the report.

Going forward, RE/MAX predicts that the new mortgage regulations will continue to have an impact on purchasing behaviour this spring. In fact, a REMAX survey reveals that one in four Canadian home buyers feel “pinched by the stress test.”

However, observers remain optimistic about Calgary’s housing market, as activity is expected to remain stable or improve over the coming months.

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