CMHC Calgary Market Report

Released: Fall 2019

“Housing starts are projected to decline before posting a moderate recovery as market fundamentals improve in 2020-21. Stronger demand in the resale market will support an increase in sales, while house prices will stabilize in 2019 before seeing modest increases over the next two years.”

Highlights

  • Stronger in-migration into the Calgary area will fuel housing demand and result in gains in MLS® Sales over the next two
  • Supported by strong population growth, the pace of new home construction is projected to gain traction in 2020 and 2021 after a slight decline in activity in
  • Rental vacancy rates will trend lower through 2021, while average 2-bedroom rents will increase

Employment and Population Growth to Support Sales Activity in 2020-21

Sales of existing homes have remained subdued in the first 8 months of 2019, keeping pace with the same period in 2018, as the market was still feeling the effects of lower oil prices and financial market volatility in the latter half of 2018 and early 2019. Since then the price of oil has increased, labour market conditions have made a strong comeback and population growth has continued to make positive gains, particularly as net-interprovincial migration into Alberta has grown more firmly positive over the past year. Net interprovincial migration into Alberta is correlated with gains in employment in the Calgary area. Given continued gains in employment projected for 2020-21, this positive trend is anticipated to remain. Strong employment gains in the first 8 months of 2019 led by gains in the service sector, particularly full-time will be supportive of housing demand in the latter half of 2019 and over the forecast horizon. Overall, we expect these positive shifts in fundamentals in the area to lead to some recovery in MLS® Sales in both 2020 and 2021, with the pace of sales approaching what was seen between 2011 and 2012.Improving fundamentals and modest improvements in MLS® sales going forward will also support a shift in the direction of resale prices. After declining since the latter half of 2018, resale prices are set to stabilize in the latter half of 2019 before seeing modest increases in 2020 and 2021. This will largely be the result of continued declines in available inventory in the existing home market, along with the new home market, as the market shifts slowly from buyers’ conditions to more balanced conditions.

Read the full report CMHC market outlook Oct 2019