With no economic change on the horizon, demand for housing in Calgary will be weak in 2016, as sales activity is expected to fall by 2.2 per cent to 18,416 units, CREB® said today in its annual forecast. The annualized benchmark price is expected to decline by 3.44 per cent to $438,652.
Weak demand and supply gains are expected in 2016, adding to an already elevated level of inventory. In this situation, the markets ability to effectively absorb more inventory will be limited, resulting in some downward price pressure across all housing sectors.
“As we move into the second year of this environment, we expect to see additional housing supply pressure and further price declines,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “Weakness in the energy sector is overshadowing all aspects of our economy and with more people looking for work and fewer opportunities, we could see some families making adjustments to their housing situation.”
While price declines are forecasted in each of the detached, attached and apartment markets, steeper declines are anticipated in the higher density segments, a trend which already started in the fourth quarter of 2015. This is related to the near record high level of multi-family units under construction. As these units are completed, there will be more product available for a smaller pool of buyers.
“Market intelligence really matters in today’s operating environment. Pricing trends have and will continue to vary depending on product type, price range and location,” said CREB® president Cliff Stevenson. “Sellers in this market need to have a good understanding of activity within their specific niche of the market. This is where a real estate professionals can really help navigate market conditions and real estate options, which are always unique to each consumer.”
With oil prices expected to remain lower for a longer period of time, the additional impact on employment and the extent of the spillover to other industries is still uncertain. While current forecasts expect employment weakness to persist throughout 2016, further losses are not expected beyond this year.
“The main risk to the housing outlook lies with the deepness of the pullback in demand and how that will translate into supply gains,” said Lurie. “Any sign of sustained recovery in the energy sector could limit the impact on the housing market.”