13 Apr Hope Springs Anew in Calgary
After a long hard winter, portions of Canada’s economy are finally starting to see some upticks. Statistics Canada’s March 2016 Labour Force Survey revealed increased hiring and decreased unemployment for the nation as a whole. Alberta saw an increase in employment in the month of March. February’s unemployment rate in Alberta was 7.9%; this number declined to 7.1% in March. While still well above last year’s rate of 5.6%, it is a relief to see the numbers headed in the right direction. The city of Calgary still remains hard hit by the recent trials in the oil market with an unemployment rate of 8.4%.
However, the recent rebound in crude oil prices offers everyone a glimmer of springtime hope.
Has Housing Already Seen the Bottom?
Calgary area real estate sales have begun a small turnaround. The week of April 1-7 marks the first time in 2016 that Calgary area real estate sales exceeded 2015 levels. Part of the reason for the increase may be that March average home prices are down 1% compared to last year. Additionally, sellers are offering incentives to buyers who are waiting to see if the market has hit bottom. Despite the slight upturn, there are plenty of homes still on the market at reduced prices and many more homeowners who are waiting out the slump before listing. Canadian buyers looking at investment or vacation properties might not want to wait too long and the low Canadian dollar offers foreigners a prime buying opportunity.
Development Projects Add to Inventory
Calgary’s office and apartment rental markets are open for business—very open. Calgary’s office rental space has a 17% vacancy rate and rents are down 30%. Apartment vacancy rates in the Calgary area also remain high. Calgary’s residential rental inventory was relatively small in 2104 but development has increased inventory at a time when demand is down. Several completed condo units now on the market have added to the mix of choices for Calgary renters. A two-bedroom condo in Calgary currently rents for an average of $1,330. The Eau Claire Market and Northland Mall mixed-use redevelopments will add quality residential units as well as retail, hospitality, and office space.
Seller Resources – HOUSING STATISTICS : Calgary Total
Millennials are Moving In
Recent reports indicate that Calgary is a destination city for those seeking affordable housing and room to grow. Millennials, in particular, are leaving high-priced cities like Vancouver for Calgary. The province of Alberta now boasts the youngest median age (36 years) of citizens in the country. Meanwhile, Vancouver is ranked as one of the top three least affordable housing markets in the world. The vacancy rate for rentals in Vancouver is just .8 percent, making finding an apartment at any price difficult. Vancouver apartment rental costs rival those seen in Toronto. Calgary is an attractive landing place for the young and ambitious looking to settle down as it has one of the highest per capita densities of entrepreneurs in Canada. With ample office space and modern urban village developments, Calgary offers millennials opportunities to develop their careers and have a comfortable home.
Let’s hope this spring thaw in weather and markets continues.