It was one of the hottest Election topics.
Housing affordability and how the parties would help Canadians buy a home in the current high market. Many parts of the country have seen skyrocketing house prices which has made home ownership unobtainable.
National House Prices
Across the country the price of an average home has risen by more than 50% in the past 5 years according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. It’s now at $663,500. Covid didn’t slow the pace of rising house prices and even contributed to it. Lockdowns meant people put more emphasis on their homes. Many chose to upgrade and go for more space. Even as the Canadian economy recovers, spending on housing continues to be a priority. Sales and prices are rising faster than the economy itself according to the CREA. Its figures show that nationally the average home price increased by 13% since last year.
Calgary House Prices
Here in Calgary, Septembers sales numbers are close to record levels. Normally sales start to decline in the fall but economists believe the unusually low inventory levels seen in the summer led to pent up demand for homes. Now there are some more on the market, buyers who were waiting on the sidelines have jumped in. This has helped with price increases. Calgary has seen prices go up by 8% since last year taking the average price of a home to $457,900 according to the Calgary Real Estate Board.
The bottom line is this is significantly lower than the national average although that figure is reduced by more than $130,000 if you take the Greater Toronto and Greater Vancouver areas out of the statistics. Calgary’s affordability is itself leading to more demand here. Royal Le Page is seeing more buyers from Toronto especially professionals and young couples moving to Calgary. “They can buy a beautiful home in an established neighbourhood for the same price as a typical family home in Toronto.”
Forecasts for next year vary but the consensus is that house prices will continue to rise. Low interest rates and low housing inventories are expected to continue to fuel demand.
The re-elected Liberals campaign assured a “home, for everyone.” They are promising a raft of measures to tackle the growing affordability issue including building, repairing or maintaining 1.4 million homes in the next four years. Financial incentives to help people buy their first home and a home buyers bill of rights to make the process more transparent. CREA chair Cliff Stevenson is happy “we’re at least having the right conversation” but remains concerned about how quickly it can be delivered. For Royal Le Page the main concern is that government doesn’t fall into the “quick fix trap.” It wants the focus to be on delivering the homes people want. Affordable housing is now firmly on the political agenda. The question is whether new measures will build success.Posted by Kirby Cox on