CBC News Posted: Mar 24, 2014 4:53 PM MT
Real estate is approaching a seller’s market in Calgary, according to a new report on the potential of a national housing bubble.
- Energy sector key to Calgary's growing real estate market
- Calgary's hot market challenging for 1st-time home buyers
- New mortgage rules pushing 1st-time homebuyers to wait
- Fears of a housing bubble in Canada overblown, report says
The Conference Board of Canada report concludes that while Canadian housing prices may be headed for a modest decline in some markets, there is no bubble to pop.
“Calgary's resale market is approaching sellers' conditions. Sales have not fallen on a year-over-year basis since April 2011, and price growth accelerated sharply last year,” according to the report.
Calgary's population growing
People are moving to Calgary — 43,000 last year alone — as Alberta becomes the province of choice for job seekers from the rest of Canada.
"It’s absolutely a double-edged sword,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "Those people who move here don't bring schools and hospitals and roads with them. And from a city's perspective, they also don't bring buses and C-Trains or parks."
He's stressing responsible growth and smart budgeting to make the most of the positives — a city with lots of work and a young population.
ATB Financial economist Todd Hirsch agrees, saying Calgary’s experiencing a healthy rate of growth.
"In this province we are never too far away from a boom and bust mentality, and we are an energy dependant province, there's no question about that. But I would say that in 2014, there's more diversity within the energy sector itself,” he said.
"We're still on kind of a roller coaster, but I'd call it more of a kiddie roller-coaster, there are still going to be ups and downs with energy price fluctuations, but I'm not looking for anything wildly dramatic."
Memories of 2006
Calgary real estate agent Lucas Ramage says "sold" signs are going up fast.
"They're going quick, they're going close to list price, and again it's getting to that type of a situation where people are needing to potentially compromise of having any kind of conditions,” he said.
"It's getting back towards where, in ‘06, when things were getting really hot."
Housing prices skyrocketed in 2006 with an average residential property jumping 38 per cent in Calgary over the year.