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Nearly 20% Increase In Price Compared To A Year Ago…

To quote a realtor in my office that seems to have summed up the last month of activity,

“It’s (explicit) nutso”

And I would have to agree. This past month we saw the activity in the market jump significantly along with the median pricing across the board.

Let’s get into the numbers.

ABSORPTION RATE – ALL SEGMENTS – CALGARY

In January we saw the absorption (ABS) rate increase by 12% to 72%. 

Sales increased 21% from the month before and the number of active listings only grew 1%. Compared to this same time last year listings are lower by 14%, and the number of sales is up a staggering 27%.

The last time we hit an ABS level like this in January was in 2022 and if history is any indication of how we might fair for the rest of this quarter, we can only expect the activity to continue to increase as we enter the spring market.

And this increase in activity, predominately driven by sales, has been reflected in prices.

MEDIAN PRICES PER SEGMENT – CALGARY

We have seen increases in prices across all segments of homes in Calgary. The biggest jump has come in the semi-detached/attached segment at 13% while we are starting to see lower increases in townhomes and apartments. More on this trend below.

Compared to the previous year’s average median price, semi-detached/attached lead the way with increases at 14% while the townhomes and apartments have seen double-digit growth, followed by 8% in the detached segment. 

The most astounding numbers are in the current month vs. January 2023 variance in median pricing we are seeing with some segments reaching as high as 19% increases in prices.

We are now at a point where a semi-detached/attached home has a median price of over $600,000. If you are from Calgary or lived here for several years, or even moved here pre-COVID, this number alone should make you sit back in your chair and take a moment to think about how we got here.

In the next section, we look at why some of these trends are occurring now and why January is looking so different than last year at this same time.

THE BREAKDOWN 

If I told you the interest rates are a gift and curse to our market, would you believe me? 

Let me explain.

In more expensive markets, when rates are higher, those who are looking to buy a home or investment property, will look and see where they can find savings outside of the rate, which they cannot control, and that is usually buying in a place that has a lower price.

This is great for migrants to our city looking to save on their housing costs.

However, it is a curse to our market for those who are already living in Calgary looking to either grow as a family or better their investment portfolio in their backyard.

This dynamic is what has shifted our marketing to the price points that we are now seeing homes priced significantly higher than what we are used to.

But I promise this is not all doom and gloom.

We have now started to see trends that affordability might be easing in the real estate market with how the increases in prices have been behaving.

As I mentioned above, we are now starting to see a shift in the increases from segment to segment. If you might recall from my previous breakdowns, I have been mentioning that townhomes and apartments were the ones seeing the most gains throughout the months.

But that is now changing.

Now we are seeing semi-detached/attached and detached homes see higher increases than townhomes and apartments. This means that, although prices are higher, more and more buyers can afford homes that are not condominiums.

This shift indicates that more purchasing power is coming back to our market.

Now, this is most probably driven more by the 5-year bond yield decreasing in January than the Bank of Canada maintaining its overnight rate at 5%.

5-YEAR BOND YIELD TREND – 2023-2024

(Source: Marketwatch.com)

The bond yield has dropped to levels similar to what we saw in March and April of last year, which coincides with the jump in the market we have seen during the same time frame.

This increase in purchasing power for those who hold fixed-rate mortgages is now allowing them to return to the semi-detached/attached and detached markets to be competitive once again.

This is great for buyer affordability. But the challenge is still the inflation of prices, which will continue to occur as we continue to see lower amounts of inventory.

A 1% increase in inventory is not enough to fulfil the demand for an increase in sales of 27%. Until something significant changes in this supply issue, we will continue to see price increases and unfortunately, no one has a viable solution to slow this trend.

The issue is further intensified by those who are coming up for renewal of their mortgages in 2024-2025. More and more homeowners are considering staying where they are and are looking at the renewal/refinancing option for their lower loan values than selling and finding a new home with a higher price point.

This sentiment will continue to keep homeowners off the market. 

A NOTE ABOUT RENEWALS/REFINANCING

I just wanted to add a quick note about renewals and refinancing your current mortgage.

The one thing to understand is when your term is coming due, you do have options. Don’t just take what your lender is offering you right away before speaking with a broker to understand what the competition is offering.

You wouldn’t walk into a Honda dealership without knowing what the Toyota or Nissan cost was, would you?

Working with your broker, you can see if what your lender is offering you is fair or not and if you were to decide to change lenders, and were just renewing (not changing anything on the amortization or dollar value), you can move without having to requalify at the “stress test”.

If you wanted to take money out or re-amortization to reduce your payments, you would need to requalify at the stress test. But this might be worth it if you need cash for investments, home renovations, school fees, etc.

I’m more than happy to assist you with questions about this. There have been many renewal letters from client’s banks that have been very fair to the client and I’ve advised them to stay with the lender based on the competition.

But it’s worth the conversation before you resign. If you want to have a chat about your renewal, send me an email (aly@calgaryareahomes.ca) or give me a call (587-871-5532). I’d love to help you find a solution.

THANK YOU

As always, thank you for allowing me to be your real estate (and now mortgage) resource. I truly appreciate the opportunity and I hope we can connect and I can answer any questions you.

Thank you for your time and I hope you have an exceptional month ahead and a wonderful Family Day long weekend!

Take care,

Aly

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The Real Estate Crystal Ball…Exists?

If only we had a crystal ball for 2024! We’d all be millionaires, right?

Well, we kind of already have an idea of what things may come in 2024 for the real estate market here in Calgary.

But before we get into it. I’d like to just take a moment, from my family to yours, and wish you an absolutely wonderful 2024 ahead. We hope it's filled with lots of joy and prosperity for you all.

Now let’s take a look at how we did in December.

ABSORPTION RATE – ALL CALGARY SEGMENTS

In December, we saw the Absorption Rate (ABS Rate) increase slightly to 60%. This is an increase of 3% from the previous month and is 11% higher than the previous year at the same time.

This increase in the ABS Rate can be attributed to a steeper decline in listings in December coupled with a lesser decline in sales. In December, the number of active listings declined by 27% from the previous month to 2,289 listings while the number of sales declined 24% from the previous month to 1,370.

Compared to the previous year, listings are down 5% while sales are up 12%, leading to further declines in the inventory.

In each of the last three years, we have seen the ABS Rate come near or slightly higher than a balanced market and then take off in the first quarter of each year.

Pricing is continuing to tell us the story of affordability in our market.

In December, we saw two segments fall in median pricing, while two others increase. Detached and Attached homes both saw declines of 1 and 7%, respectively. At the same time, Townhomes and Apartments increased by 4 and 1%, respectively.

This continues the story of affordability in our market and how the impacts of today’s buyer’s purchasing power have been changing.

Townhome condos are now back to pricing that was last seen in August of 2023. While detached and attached homes have been relatively steady throughout the year, apartment and townhome condos have both seen significant increases as the year progressed.

But what can we expect as we head into the first quarter of 2024?

THE BREAKDOWN

In the last three years, we have seen the markets take off in the first part of the year yet. Last year, albeit when rates were at their highest, we saw the ABS Rates skyrocket to rates as high as 91% in the second quarter of last year.

Is this something we can expect this year?

We have to take a look at what would drive this immense increase in activity to gain an understanding of if this would happen.

There are two parts to the equation for this activity.

  1. Buyer and sales activity

  2. Seller and active listings available

We all know we have a significant pent-up demand for buyers in the market today. This is due to several different factors. These will include:

  • Higher rents in the city

  • Migration to Calgary from other more expensive provinces

  • Increased interprovincial investment in Calgary and Alberta

  • Immigration from other countries who have now made Calgary their hub for newly landed immigrants to Canada

  • First-time buyers that have significantly more cash now than before with higher paying jobs and extra side incomes

And this list continues. 

These are all great reasons for buyers to want to enter the market. However, their selection will continue to be hindered by supply shortages.

Some of these shortages can be attributed to the following:

  • Builder’s ability to bring on new housing for ownership

  • Incentives to builders for rental housing rather than ownership housing

  • Higher rates drive up higher renewal rates – keeping buyers in their homes with lower mortgage amounts than comparable homes currently for sale.

  • Sellers locked into their homes for 5 years with lower rates from 2021 and 2022.

And this list also continues.

As more and more buyers increase, and the number of reasons to sell decreases, the ABS Rate will continue to rise, we can expect more price increases.

And all of this is before the consideration of buyers having some relief with lower rates in 2024, as most economists are predicting.  

This effect will drive up their purchasing power amounts, allowing them to buy (borrow) more, leading to further price increases.

So can we expect an increase in the activity in 2024? I believe so. 

In my own business, I have been speaking to significantly more buyers and sellers in the first part of this year than in previous years. 

Most are trying to get ahead of the market before the frenzy increases with lower rates.

If this is you, shoot me an email at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca and let’s chat. We want to make sure you are properly prepared for the market that will come this year. 

If you are considering a sale also (and yes there are sellers every day despite the list above), let's also speak. We want to make sure your home is ready for the spring market.

THANK YOU

As always, thank you so much for your time and for reviewing this breakdown. I truly appreciate the opportunity to be your real estate resource.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time with questions. I’d also love it if you could share this with your friends and family. You never know, it might be answering some of their questions also.

Thank you again!

Aly

 

 

 

 

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Nearly 20% Decline in Sales Month Over Month 😬

Yes, you read that headline right. No clickbait happening here.

But before we get into the numbers, I just wanted to start this post and say Thank You! Thank you for taking the time to visit these posts each month. I truly appreciate your time.

Also, since it’s the end of the year, I just wanted to wish you, your families, and all those you hold close a very happy holiday and if you are celebrating, a very Merry Christmas!

Now let’s get to these numbers.

ABSORPTION RATES FOR CALGARY – ALL RESIDENTIAL SEGMENTS

This month, as the headline mentioned, we saw a massive decline in sales activity of 17%. This change has contributed to our Absorption Rate (ABS Rate) to drop below 60% to 57%.

If you recall from previous posts, anything between 40-60% is a balanced market. Below 40% is considered a buyer’s market, and above 60% is considered a seller’s market.

There is also one other side of the coin contributing to the decline in activity.

The number of listings available.

In November, the number of listings available to the market on the MLS declined by 7%. Ideally, this decline would make listings scarcer to the market and drive-up pricing. However, when the demand is shrinking faster than listings, we see a continued slowing of the market.

November’s ABS Rate of 57% marks the third straight month of declines in activity in our market.

But this story is one we have seen before but with a little twist!

In 2022 we saw this same decline from highs that were only superseded this year. The highest point in 2022 for our ABS Rate was 88%, while in May of this year we hit 91%. What came right after that high in 2022 was 4 major declines in activity as we worked through the summer months.

The same has now happened twice this year where we saw two declines after our high of 91% in May and a second peak occurring in August.

But even with this volatility in the market throughout the year, as you can see from the chart above, we seem to converge to a balanced market by the end of the year for the past three years.

And this is what we like to call the seasonality of the market.

The winter months slow everything down in Calgary and appetites for spending on homes now shift to other items like the holidays, etc. Also, most sellers are not open to having their homes for sale during the holidays to stop any interruptions with time with their families.

This is understandable. But if you are thinking of selling in the new year, contact me or shoot me an email at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca and let's chat now, I can show you why you might want to reconsider December rather than March.  

My point with going into all this is we are not out of the hot market yet. If anything, November and December months in previous years have shown us that that lull for the holidays dissipates once the holidays are done.

With rates already on the decline (contact me again to learn more or email me at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca) and the forecasts of the prime rate dropping in April or May of next year, we can only expect the market to pick up.

I saw this with another set of stats I’d like to share below.

MEDIAN PRICES BY SEGMENT – CALGARY

November has seen pricing remain stagnant for yet another month as the trend for the market just treading water continues. Since July of this year, we have not seen major declines in the prices throughout the segments.

We see fluctuations here and there, but no real trend that shows our market is picking up or slowing down.

We do however see how the buyer’s avatar has been changing each month.

At the start of the year we saw single-family detached and semi-detached homes spike. Then when they capped out, we saw townhomes and apartments do the same.

As buyers are priced out of one market, they shift to more affordable markets.

However, this month, we have seen a significant drop in townhome prices (5%). While during the same month, we saw a substantial jump in semi-detached home prices (up 8%).

This little shift speaks to the affordability of today’s buyer. There is a significant price difference between the two segments. Therefore, for a buyer to become more active in the attached market shows that the recent fixed rate declines are giving these buyers more room to breathe with their purchasing power.

Lower rates lead to further each dollar going to the purchase price of the home.

This is also a very good precursor to how things may play out with the spring market if the prime rates drop.

Fixed-rate declines only affect new home mortgages. When the prime rate drops, that is the main event. Things like LOCs, car loans, mortgages, business loans, etc. are all affected. A decline in this rate will lead to much more cash available to consumers.

So what can we expect going into December and the year, I’ll break it down below.

THE BREAKDOWN

With the market prices remaining consistent while the activity is dropping, we are kind of in a one-in, one-out market right now.

The right buyer is coming along, is pre-approved and the home they find is listed well the sellers are reasonable with their asking and a transaction is done.

Most buyers fear the rate conversation and so are sellers now that the conversation of renewals is in the media circuit.

If there has been anything that we have seen over the last five years is that this market is resilient. Everyone needs housing and our city is growing at a pace that hasn’t happened in decades.

We will continue to see a slower market in December with the focus now on holiday shopping and time with family. However, come the new year, I believe history will repeat itself and we will see a spark once again.

To get ahead of that next curve, there are several things you can do now to position yourself to ensure you are ready for it. Or if you can, take advantage now since prices are still at their peaks without the mad dash of a super activity market.

If you want to have a consultation call or a meeting with me to discuss your options, my calendar can be found by clicking here.

I’d love to assist where I can.

Thank you again for your time as always, I truly appreciate it and I hope we can connect, and I can help you with any of your real estate or mortgage needs. If you have any friends or family who would like to join this newsletter, just share the link below and they can sign up.

Link to newsletter

Take care, happy holidays, and have a wonderful new year!

Aly

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Prices Withstand Steep Sales Declines 🧐 - Is A Balanced Market Here?

This month showed us that the easing the Bank of Canada wants to see is starting to take effect in Calgary. Let's get into the numbers and understand where we currently are and how we can continue to see the last few months of this year develop. 

THE STATS

In October, we saw the overall absorption rate (ABS rate) decline from 68% to 64% month over month. This is still significantly higher than the last two years at this time of the year (2021: 36% and 2022: 40%).

This decline has been driven by a significant decline of 11% in sales month over month while the number of active listings dropped 4%. Compared to a year ago, the number of active listings has dropped 21% while the number of sales is still higher by 15%.

The number of sales is down for the second straight month while the number of listings remains consistent in that same period.

On the pricing side, we have seen little change month over month, however, the greater story lies in how the absorption rate and pricing are tied. Which we will get into a bit later.

Month over month, across the detached and semi-detached segments have seen little to no change in median pricing. Townhomes continue to see price increases being up 2%, as well as apartments, which are up 1% but have continued to increase in pricing throughout 2023.

Compared to the average last year, across all segments, Calgary is up between 9-14% and year over year for the month, up between 12-25%.  

The detached and semi-detached segments have seen stagnant pricing since April of this year eluding that their pricing may have capped out to the affordability of today’s buyer.

But what can all this mean for our current market and how can these performance indicators be used to determine where we will end for 2023? Let’s get into it below. 

THE BREAKDOWN

The absorption rate is a great indicator to follow. It allows us to estimate what kind of market we are currently in (>60% - seller, 40-60% - balanced, <40% - buyer) along with it being a leading indicator of how prices will start to change.

Since May, we have continued to see the ABS rate continue its trend of decline, while during this same time, we have seen the detached and semi-detached median pricing hold strong on their pricing and townhomes and apartments increase in value.

As the ABS rate declines, buyers continue to look for more and more affordability. 

And now that we are on the fringe of a balanced market, we are now seeing the increases in apartments and townhomes start to decline. As these continue to decline, the further we will move to a balanced market, leading sellers to adjust their pricing across all segments.

Sellers will be competing more for that buyer as we move through the balanced market to potentially a buyer’s market leading to incentives for buyers to purchase their home.

Now, does the buyer market sound like a possibility soon? Not likely, but could it come in 2-4 years from now? It is a possibility that most should not take lightly.

It's been more and more prevalent in today’s media cycles of the added cost of renewals for those of us who are in a fixed low-rate mortgage from 2021 or early 2022. The sticker shock of these renewals has homeowners worried about how they will manage their next set of mortgage payments.

And this fear is justified with a rate of over 3 times what they have right now.  

These forced renewals will create inventory in the market for those who cannot handle the increased mortgage payment, which will lower our ABS rate further by increasing supply, moving the needle to a buyer’s market where aspiring homeowners are waiting.

But will this massive crash come? Not now. Not in 2023.

And if you keep an eye on the delinquency rates for the charter banks, you will see that is not the trend…yet.

Only time will tell to see if this issue of higher rate renewals is the straw that breaks the housing market’s back to create the inventory that is desperately needed.

But it's also important to remember, that this increase albeit great for buyers, is horrible for homeowners and not something I hope we see in Calgary.  

I worked through the declines of 2015-2018 and trust me the worst feeling in the world is speaking to a seller that wants to sell their home because they cannot afford it but can’t because it is short in value. Hopefully, those days never come.

THANK YOU

As always, thank you for your time to check out my breakdown of the market and the latest stats. I hope you find this useful as always. I have a few links below for anyone that needs assistance. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!

Thank you as always,

Aly

If you need assistance selling or would like to know what your home is worth, feel free to reach out and click here to learn about how I can assist you.

If you are currently in the market to purchase a home, I would love to have a chat and see where I can help you in your particular stage of the journey. I can assist you with:

Maybe you aren’t in the market but need some assistance with your mortgage product or questions, please feel free to give me a call above or send me an email at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca and we can chat about your specific needs. 

Thank you again and have a great day!

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Record Sales! But Is That The True Story Of The Calgary Market?

My update is a bit late, and I’m truly sorry for the delay. 

But after all the market headlines like the one above from our Calgary Real Estate Board and all the media outlets celebrating the record of sales in our city, I think it is a bit out there to completely gloss over what is really happening in our market amidst the higher rates, inventory levels, and overall sentiment we as realtors are seeing our market currently.

It’s one thing to see the numbers, it’s completely another thing to see what is happening with buyers and sellers in our market currently. 

So even though this update is late, I hope you still find some great value and possibly a different insight into what is happening in our market.

THE STATS

Those of you who have been using this update as a resource know that I have been tracking the absorption rates since 2019. The graph above will show you the true picture of how our real estate market has been doing comparing the market last year to this year as well as previous years.

And there are a few takeaways I’d like to point out before we start going through the numbers.

  1. Seasonality is real and has been evident in each year since I have been keeping track of the market

  2. In 2023, we are seeing elevated numbers, but this is the second drop in activity we have seen in the market this year.

In the month of September, we generally see a drop in activity. Although not as significant in previous years as 2023, we see a slight adjustment for people who are settling into their routines, back to work and school, and their focus is not on buying and selling a home.

This year, this adjustment was exaggerated with the significant increase in the 5-year bond market which leads the 2-year fixed mortgage interest rate.

In September, we saw the absorption rate drop by 9% to 69%. A balanced market in real estate is usually between 40 and 60%.

This decline is attributed to a drop, yes a drop in sales, of 10% from the previous month. While this drop in sales had occurred, we had an increase in inventory of listings increase by 1%.

Year over year, our inventory has declined by 355 while our sales have increased by 22%.

When we look at the median prices, we see an interesting trend over the last quarter.

Month over month, pricing across the segments had an average change of an increase of 1%. Townhomes showed a decline in prices while duplexes showed the highest gain of 2%.

We are higher from this same month last year by an average of 18% and for the year higher by an average across all segments of 11%

In the next section, we will break down these numbers and look at what the real sentiment has been in our market over the last month.

THE BREAKDOWN

If we revisit the absorption rate analysis we have a decrease in demand and an increase in supply. My Intro to Economics class at the UofC two decades ago tells me that that will drive prices to be suppressed.

Which is what we have been seeing in our median prices above.

When the articles that have been released blast the headline of record sales for the month, it’s a bit misleading because it gives the impression that our market is pushing forward without any issues.

Higher rates lately have caused a lot of slowdowns in the market.

Personally, I have had buyers lose their purchasing power to a point where they cannot buy anymore because their qualifying rate is way too high for them to purchase a home that they want.  

I’ve also had sellers second guess their sales in today’s market because they are worried about the carrying cost of the next home with the higher rates they are now exposed to.

Not to mention, there are those who are worried about the renewal cost of their home down the road who have added to the inventory levels just out of fear of not making their mortgage payments at renewal because they are in variable-rate mortgages.

The prices in Calgary have stayed somewhat consistent over the last quarter of the year across almost all segments. Which, if the headlines were true, would not be the case and prices should be skyrocketing.

Our market is also now seeing many listings have price adjustments down to adjust for the higher cost of rates that buyers are subjected to.

If a buyer can only afford so much in a market, they are forced to wait until that property becomes available. A seller, not wanting to sell, but in need to sell, will have to adjust their pricing to allow for that buyer to have the ability to buy.

If drastic changes like a lower BOC announcement or an increase in federal programs to allow for significantly more development occur, our market could see a shift. But until then, we are very close to our new balance of market.

The current prices, amount of inventory and number of buyers are close to our new balance of a market.

THANK YOU

I hope you found this update useful. I try and value where I can and hopefully this slightly different perspective can give you another lens to see our market.

If you are in the market to buy, or even just have questions about the process or mortgages, I’d love to connect. Please feel free to give me a call or send me an email at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca

And if you are considering to sell, let me work to give you a market report about your home to start. Its quick and no trouble for me at all. I actually tell clients I enjoy doing the evaluations because it helps me get better with my pricing. Please feel free to shoot me a note or fill in the form with your property details by clicking here.

Thanks again and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families. Take care,

Aly

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😴 Don’t Sleep Through These Price Declines!

When we look at the Calgary market lately, the last thing anyone would expect are price declines. But, funny enough, we have had a few segments start to show some cracks in their pricing due to the higher interest rates and the summer months. 

In this breakdown we look at these particular segments and how price declines can occur in a market that saw sales increase 3% while new listings drop 6%. 

Let’s get to the details!

The Stats

The Absorption Rate - All Calgary Residential Segments

In the month of August, we saw new listings drop by 6% to 3,454 while the number of sales increase by 3% to 2,736. This activity drove our absorption rate back up to 79%. 

This means that nearly 8 of 10 homes that are listing on the market today across all segments are selling. 

Compared to this same month last year, the number of active listings has dropped 48% while the number sales has increased by 22%

This 5% increase in the absorption rate month over month is not uncommon as we have seen in previous years where a tiny increase usually happens around August. If this trend continues, we should see another drop in activity in September before an increase in the later months of the year. 

This is not new information. Our market has been hot. But where the interesting story lies is how this hot market has been sustaining and how the different segments are reacting to the changes in our market conditions and seasonality. 

The Median Price By Segment - Calgary

These segments present a picture of the market still increasing as the months progress, but as you can see in the chart above, two big segments of our market have seen price declines month over month. 

The single-family detached and attached (semi-detached) segments both saw decreases in their prices to bring them to levels closer to March of this year. 

While these two segments have shown a little crack in their prices, townhomes and apartments continue to keep the market as a whole strong. 

While the market has shown some mixed signals so far, we will breakdown the rationale behind the drop in some segments as well as the slight increase in market in our breakdown below. 

The Breakdown

As we have seen this past month, detached and semi-detached homes have seen drops in their pricing while townhomes and apartments have seen a increase. This is understandable once we start to look at a few different factors contributing to these increases.

Rent Increases

In Calgary, rents for 2-bedroom units have ballooned to over 2,300/month, which is only $200 less than owning a 2-bedroom condo apartment with 5% down and a condo fee of $600/month. 

As more people to move to Calgary, rental vacancies are low leaving more and more people to purchasing an apartment (or a townhome if they have a family). This increase in demand has activated our condo market to become more in demand.

Interest Rates and Affordability

Lest we forget the overarching reason for our real estate market being in such a crazy phase. Higher interest rates continue to eat into the purchasing power of potential home owners leading them to afford less and continue to look at more affordable housing options for their home. 

As the rates continue to stay high, we will continue to see this demand of more affordable housing continue until which time that even these segments will be priced too higher for a buyer. 

But we cannot forget that the BOC cannot keep rates high for long. And when a small decline in the rate occurs, this will also lead to more demand as buyer’s purchasing power increases and their appetite to take advantage of the lower rate market will increase. 

This might change the way the pricing increases go. A lower interest rate will increase affordability for a buyer leading them to start looking the other way on the spectrum towards detached and semi-detached homes. 

The market will continue to run at this pace until something significant comes along to change it. This can either come, and most probably from, the BOC next rate announcement in September or a significant change in policy or production speeds for new housing development (which is not likely). 

Forecast

September will be a little bit of drop in the market if seasonality gives us any clue. People are getting back into their routines, school has started, and the focus is no longer into getting the home, but starting to live it in with the family. This might be a great time for a buyer to take advantage of the lack of competition. 

Once that is complete, we should continue to see increases in the demand again as those that would like to move before the holidays will start to be come active. 

My favourite time to list a home is actually December because of lack of sellers during that time. Buyers will continue to look, but most sellers don’t want to inconvenience their holidays. 

If you are currently in the market, the apartment and townhomes market might not be where you want to be looking right now. I would start to focus in on the detached and semi-detached homes to see if you can find some savings. 

And for sellers, if you have a property in the townhome or apartment segments, this when you will get your maximum return. Year over year this same month apartments are up 22%. Definitely a great return on your investment. 

Thank You

As always, thank you for time and checking out this update and market breakdown. I hope you found it useful. If you’d like to set some time aside with me to chat about your questions or needs in the market, please feel free to click here to access my calendar directly. 

I have some great resources if you are looking to buy, sell, or invest. Set up a time with me above and lets talk about how I can help you achieve your real estate goals. 

Thanks - Aly

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Calgary Real Estate Market Booms as Listings Slow and Sales Soar!

March 2023 Calgary Real Estate Report

The real estate market is constantly evolving and adjusting to external forces that can impact buyers and sellers with the purchase or sale of properties. 

This past month, the failure of a major US bank might have spurred our real estate market to recuperate to levels that we had only seen during the pandemic. 

A time when rates were low.

In this breakdown, we look at the current market conditions for the first month of the spring market and how this major bank failure has caused ripple effects to the housing industry in Calgary. 

Let's dive right in.

Aggregated Market Stats

In March we saw the absorption rate (ABS) soar to 11% from the previous month's 71%. This 11% increase is attributed to an increase of 18% in listings versus an increase in sales of 39%. 

With the number of sales outpacing listings 2 to 1, the inventory in Calgary continues to see declines. 

Compared to last year at this same time, our ABS rate was 88%. Listings have declined year over year at this time of 36% while sales are down 68%. 

In 2021, at this time our ABS rate was 51%

When the ABS rate is over 40% it is considered a strong seller's market. 

Median Prices By Segment

The prices in the great Calgary area show to share the same tale as the ABS rates. 

Prices increased across all segments between 2-5%. Year over year, the greatest increase has been seen in the attached segment. 

This increase in the attached segment can be attributed to affordability for buyers as they become more and more squeezed out of the single-family detached homes as prices continue to rise. 

Apartments also exhibited increases year over year with the increased cost of renting vs. owning. This segment is also very appealing to investors that are noticing higher rates of returns from rentals as vacancy rates continue to decline. 

These numbers show a great story of how our real estate market has been progressing this year. However, as we all know, the spring market is a beast in itself. Below we look at some of these factors and how they can impact April and May.

The Breakdown

Sales are up. The number of listings is down. When this normally happens, we have prices increase. 

The simplicity of the above statement might be a bit of a stretch...but is it really?

If you hear most economists or bank representatives, they all predicted a significant shift in the market while the interest rates rose each quarter in the last couple of years. 

Before the failure of Silicon Bank in the US, all rates were extremely high. The prime rate is still around 6.7% at the time of this publication. 

But prices are still the highest they have been. Along with other expenses like food and gas. 

So where is the disconnect here?

Housing prices are not the direct inverse of interest rates. If that were the case, when rates were super low through 2009-2014, our real estate market should have soared with pricing. 

That didn't happen. And neither are the declining prices now with the higher rates. 

For this relationship of prices to interest rates to be directly related, you'd have to assume that:

1.     Everyone is getting a mortgage that is purchasing a property.

2.     They are all in long-term mortgages

But what happens when those with cash to invest do so without a mortgage and those that have a mortgage obtain a variable rate mortgage and get to ride the highs and lows of the benchmark rate?

Not to mention they have a 3-month penalty to break their mortgage and refinance it with a lower rate and higher discount later on. 

This is where the direct relationship of price to interest rates falls apart. 

The failure of this US Bank has shown that the economy, even one as strong as the US market, cannot continue to accommodate higher interest rates. 

Our economy is significantly smaller and is more exposed to failures like this. 

That is why the 5-year bond yield (which drives the fixed mortgage rates) fell off a cliff once this bank failed. Below is an illustration:

Now, what happens when the cost of borrowing declines?

More money is available to buyers to put towards their homes rather than service debt, leading to the ability to pay more for their purchase. 

Which is music to sellers' ears allowing them to continue the trend of higher prices. 

The spring is generally when we see both higher inventory numbers and higher prices. However, if the inventory continues to be outpaced by sales, we can continue to expect higher pricing and an increase in the pool of buyers with more money to spend with less selection. 

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to check out this breakdown and market update. As always if you have questions, I'd love to answer them. Please feel free to reach out to my office at (587) 871-5532 or shoot me an email at aly@calgaryareahomes.ca. 

If you are considering a sale right now, I'd love to chat. Please feel free to reach out any way above or connect with me on social media and we can go from there. 

Take care and have a great day ahead. 

It's not just a house. It's home. Let's chat about how I can help. 

- Aly

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