CALGARY — On a cool and rainy day in Calgary, five busloads of potential residential real estate investors embarked Friday on a tour of the area to check out the market.
“About 60 per cent of them are not from Calgary,” said Don Campbell, president of the Real Estate Investment Network in Canada, which organized the tour. “It’s a really good mix everywhere from Halifax to the United States to Victoria.”
The residential market cycle is performing exactly as a real estate market is supposed to do, he said.
“We’re calling it the Goldilocks market. It’s not too hot, not too cold. It’s just right,” said Campbell. “The underlying economic fundamentals like the job growth and the population growth are just starting to ripple into the housing market.
“The vacancy rate has collapsed. Rents last month that were in the $1,500 range are now this month getting $1,695. So the next stage of the cycle will be people will start to make more decisions towards buying so that means the rest of this year it will perform as it’s performing right now which is listings are down, volume is up and then in 2013, especially in the spring and summer of 2013, you’re going to feel the upward pressure on the prices. The prices haven’t really moved that much in Calgary which is as exactly as predicted for us.”
On Friday, the Conference Board of Canada said the short-term year-over-year price growth expectation for Calgary’s resale housing market is between five and 6.9 per cent.
The board said the seasonally-adjusted annual rate of MLS® sales in Calgary in July was 28,392, up 2.3 per cent from the previous month and an increase of 21.3 per cent from a year ago.
Listings of 41,904 are down 4.4 per cent on a monthly basis and off by 5.8 per cent on an annual basis.
The board said the average sale price in Calgary in July of $410,731 was slightly up (0.1 per cent) from June and a year-over-year hike of three per cent.
And the board said Calgary’s sales to listings ratio of 0.642 puts it in balanced market territory.
“We teach about Calgary across the country — actually we teach a lot about Alberta across the country,” said Campbell. “Theory is great but what we like to do — and what we have done for the last 20 years — is get people on a bus and then drive around and actually show them the infrastructure that’s being built, the job growth that’s happening in an area.
“All it is identifying regions that are good opportunities and those regions that aren’t as good from a cash-flow perspective.”