The Calgary Real Estate Board(C.R.E.B.) has released their forecast for 2017, and hint that the “worst of it” could be behind us. After posting successive sales declines in 2014 (25,552), 2015 (18,839) and 2016 (17,809), CREB® is forecasting MLS® activity in Calgary to rebound slightly in 2017 to 18,335 units.
That will be a three per cent gain over 2016, but 12 per cent below long-term averages. I feel like the expression “It’s not a sprint…it’s a marathon” comes into play here. SLOW-AND-STEADY.
As far as prices go, CREB® has projected a 3 per cent price growth for 2017, which is still less than the decline in 2016 (3.84 per cent). It might not be what “sellers” want to hear, but it’s reality. This puts 2017 home prices close to where they were back in the fall of 2015. On a home listed for $500,000, it could mean a difference of about $15,000.
Much of what’s in store for the city’s real estate market depends on where a barrel of crude is selling 2017 and beyond. Having started 2016 at $29.01 US, prices spent the rest of the year hovering between $40 and $50. Looking into 2017, CREB® expects prices to show more stability, fluctuating between the $50-to-$55 mark.
They remind us that our housing market is moving toward a new equilibrium, but that shift is heavily dependent on stability in the energy sector and overall labour markets. There is also considerable risk from recent government policy changes that could derail expected gains in the second half of 2017.
It’s a new outlook this year, but the market risks shouldn’t be overlooked.