Is this a good year to buy or sell?

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by BECKY WALTERS on APR 23, 2013

The Calgary real estate market began recovering in 2012, and so far this year, the future is looking bright.

CREB® statistics for the first three months of the year, as well as its outlook for 2013, suggest the recovery is expected to continue. So, what does this mean for people who are considering buying or selling their homes?

As the president of CREB®’s board of directors, I am also a REALTOR®. One of the most frequent questions I get asked is ‘Is this a good year to buy or sell?’

You’ve probably seen the headlines: “Calgary Real Estate the Lone Shining Star in Canada: TD Report”; “Calgary Housing Market Experiencing Positive Momentum”; and “Calgary Future Homes Value, One of the Best Nationwide!!”

These kinds of headlines, as well as the positivity we’ve been seeing in the local real estate market are a sign that this a good time to both buy and to sell. Based on current conditions, and assuming economic growth follows projections, CREB®’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said we can expect to see moderate price gains in the market this year.

Sellers will be happy to learn our balanced market is continuing to trend into seller’s territory in the single-family market. The condominium market remains balanced.

As spring gets into full swing, we generally expect to see more “For Sale” signs. This could be great news for homebuyers who have been hampered by the lack of inventory in the city.

At the beginning of the year, inventory levels were down by double digits, meaning our market is a bit tight. With fewer houses on the market in the city, buyers have been hopping in their cars and checking out surrounding communities where they’ve been discovering they can get more home for their money.

Of course, the housing market is prone to cyclical ups and downs. The latest TD Economics report released in March looked at national trends and concluded Canadians should expect to “embark on a gradual, modest, downward adjustment over the next three years.” But Calgary, where housing has long been seen as a steady, appreciating asset, will be an “out-performer” in relation to the national housing market.

This is due, in part, to a projected population growth through 2030 that should be above the national average. Other factors that will affect the long-run rate of return for home prices aremacroeconomic fundamentals, such as income and economic growth, and structural changes, including an aging populace and the number of immigrants as a share of total homebuyers.

All of these factors indicate you can buy with confidence and that real estate in the Calgary area will be a solid investment for years to come.


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