Calgary Housing Market: October 2020 Update and 2021 Forecast

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October showed a clear divergence in the recovery of Calgary's real estate market: prices of detached homes continued their slow march upwards but prices of all other property types fell compared to September. The average sold prices of detached homes reached $554,985, a 5% increase compared to 2019. In comparison, prices of condo apartments fell to $241,637, a 19% drop from 2019. Despite the weak market, sales volume has remained positive with 1,764 properties sold in the month of October, a 22% increase yoy.

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The pricing trends reflect the decreasing availability of detached homes and the massive oversupply of apartments in Calgary. Detached home inventory continued to fall with a 22% decline yoy while supply of condo apartments rose by 9%. Reaching almost 7 months of inventory, Calgary's condo market is likely to continue its slow decline as new listings outweigh sales by more than double.

Multiple forces at currently at play in Calgary's real estate market. The Western Canadian Select oil price index remains near the cost of production at $30 to $35 CAD since historical lows in March and April, leaving the likelihood of further fossil fuel-based economic expansion in the province unlikely. Many major employers in Alberta's natural resource-driven economy have announced major layoffs, further suppressing home prices in Calgary. However, record-low mortgage rates and pent up demand have pushed real estate markets in other Canadian cities to new highs despite the uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Toronto housing priceshave increased by more than 10% year over year and continue to show signs of exuberance while even Vancouver's real estate market, which has stagnated in the past few years, has grown compared to 2019.

The real estate exuberance in other markets follows recent announcements by the Bank of Canada promising continued Quantitative Easing and low interest rates into 2021. In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government have announced the extension of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy until the end of 2020. As a result, asset price inflation is likely to continue as money pours into the economy through both monetary and fiscal policy.

Calgary Housing Market Statistics for All Property Types in October 2020

Average Sold Price and MLS HPI Benchmark Price

Total Transactions

Property Type Distribution

Impacts on Mortgages and Mortgage Rates

Due in part to the continued growth in real estate as well as loose monetary policy, mortgage lenders, including members of the Big Five (RBC, TD, CIBC, Scotiabank, and BMO), are increasingly willing to discount risk in the housing market and are offering record-low mortgage rates. Although this highly-competitive market may not last past the end of 2020, mortgage rates are not expected to rise significantly by 2022.

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Market Overview for Detached Homes in October 2020

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Semi-Detached Homes in October 2020

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Townhouses in October 2020

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Condo Apartments in October 2020

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Top Real Estate Agents in

Top Real Estate Agents in

Calgary Housing Market Forecast for 2020 - 2021

In the current economic environment, we expect average sold prices in Calgary's real estate market to range from $486,000 to $512,000 by the end of 2021. Our forecast is based on an analysis of Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures, one of the most liquid and heavily traded commodity indexes, and its relationship to Calgary's natural resource-based economy. The oil market is predicting a mild increase of oil prices to ~$41 USD a barrel by 2021, which would support Alberta's low marginal cost oil production. A rapid influx of cash into the economy through government programs and central bank monetary policy is likely to further boost home prices. However, growth rates are likely to still remain far below those of Ottawa's real estate market and Montreal's real estate market, which are supported by high levels of immigration and public sector growth.

Glossary and Definitions

MLS® HPI: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is an index by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that tracks the prices of homes in a neighborhood. It allows Canadians to quickly compare home prices across Canada and between periods of time without having to account for specific features of a property. Unlike market prices, which can fluctuate from month to month based on seasonal dynamics, the HPI provides a stable view tracks trends across a longer period of time. The HPI is reviewed every year in May to adjust for changes in the real estate marketplace.

MLS® HPI Benchmark Price: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price is the HPI translated into a real-world price number.

Strata Insurance: Strata insurance is insurance used by a strata like a condominium to covers damages to common areas and assets and liability to the strata. It can also include fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction of each unit, even though these may not be common structures. The insurance can cover:

  • Buildings and structures associated with the strata including common areas such as the roof, parking garages, driveways, gyms, pools, etc.
  • Liability for any property damage or bodily injury suffered on strata property
  • Any fixtures that are part of the "standard unit" or original construction of each unit

Strata insurance does not usually include personal items and appliances that are part of a condo unit. It also does not cover the damages made by individual unit owners, such as in the case of water damage caused by a unit owner. These are usually covered by personal condo insurance.

Property types

Detached home: A detached home is your standard single-family home. It is a residential building that stands alone and is separately titled or legally a single unit.

Semi-detached home: A semi-detached home is similar to a detached home, except it shares a wall with another home. This pair of homes must make up an independent building and each should be separately titled or legally two separate units. There can only be two homes in a semi-detached building.

Townhouses: A townhouse is the middle between a detached/semi-detached home and a condo apartment. Like detached and semi-detached homes, they are often single-family units that have their own land and may be attached to other units. However, like condo apartments, they typically have to pay co-ownership fees for maintenance and may share some common features with their neighbors.

Condo apartment: This category includes all apartments and condominiums. These are complexes of residential units with common areas such as hallways, parking lots, stairwells, etc. They can be low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise buildings. Unlike townhouses, there are no parts of the lot (the land of the building) where access is reserved for only one owner or occupant. There can be privately owned units and spaces inside the building.

Plexes are multi-story buildings with two to four individual units, usually one on each floor. They are a mainstay in Montreal and other cities in Quebec. Each unit is usually individually accessible via an external entrance with higher floors connected by staircases.

Property Classes

Freeholds: A freehold is any property where the owner owns both the house and the land it is built on. Common freehold property types include: detached, semi-detached, some townhouses, and farmland.

Condominiums: A condominium or condo is any property where the owner owns the home (or unit) but shares ownership of the land and other improvements with a condominium corporation. Common condominium property types include condo apartments and some townhouses.

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Data sourced from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Any analysis or commentary is the opinion of the analysts at WOWA.ca and should not be construed as investment advice. Please consult a licensed real estate professional before making a real estate investment decision. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.