Calgary housing outlook: record years

The Calgary housing market has had it good in recent years. Strong economic, employment and wage growth and increasing net migration all led to a booming real estate sector – including what will be record housing starts this year.So spectacular was this performance, however, that it would be impossible to maintain. It should come as a no surprise, then, that in 2015, some of the “boom” may come off the rose somewhat in this part of Wild Rose Country.Calgary homesTotal housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) are on pace to reach a record high of 17,200 units in 2014, according the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). This represents a huge 37-per-cent increase from 12,584 in 2013. Next year, however, total housing starts are forecast to decrease to 14,400 units and 12,800 in 2016.“Housing demand in the Calgary CMA continues to be supported by positive employment growth and heightened net migration,” Felicia Mutheardy, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Calgary told New Home & Condo Guide.“However, while remaining positive, the rate of employment growth is expected to move lower in both 2015 and 2016. Following a record year in 2013, net migration is expected to decline in 2014 through 2016 while mortgage rates are expected to move higher in the next two years. These factors will contribute to a moderation in the demand for housing, resulting in a reduced rate of growth for sales in the existing home market and lower housing starts for both single-detached and multi-family units.”In 2015, existing home sales are forecast to increase 2.1 per cent to 34,200 units, and 1.8 per cent to 34,800 in 2016, she adds.Calgary luxury condoOver the next two years in the Calgary housing market, both single-detached and multi-family starts are expected to decline. There will be 6,400 single-detached housing starts in 2015 and 6,300 in 2016, Mutheardy says.Calgary Single-Detached StartsFor multi-family starts, there will be 8,000 units in 2015 and 6,500 in 2016. A slower pace of construction for condominiums will contribute to a pronounced reduction in multi-family starts in the next two years.For the new home market in Alberta overall, single-detached starts are projected to rise by nearly four per cent to 19,300 in 2014 and then remain relatively stable at 19,200 units in 2015 and 19,000 in 2016.“Strong economic and employment growth are expected to help Alberta’s housing market conditions remain robust by historical standards over the next two years,” says Lai Sing Louie, CMHC’s regional economist for the Prairie and Territories Region.Related readingCalgary is hot, but still one of the most affordable markets in CanadaIn this Battle of Alberta, Edmonton wins55 Calgary neighbourhoods to benefit from parks expansionCalgary is hot, and here’s why

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