Luxury home sales halved in Calgary
The volume of luxury home sales in Calgary has almost halved according to figures from the Calgary Real Estate Board. Sales of homes priced at $1 million or more dropped by 42 per cent in April compared with the same time last year; there were 152 sales this year and 261 in April 2014. Total MLS sales fell by 29.5 per cent in the month. The sharp drop in luxury homes is linked to job security in higher-paying industries as a result of the oil price decline. The figures also show a drop in the city’s median MLS listing price which was $484,449 last April and $480,635 now.
Construction predicted to fall by 2 per cent this year
Construction levels in Canada are forecast to be 2 per cent lower this year than if the oil price had not fallen according to a report by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The organization’s Canadian Construction Survey reports that 68 per cent of respondents in the oil, gas and energy construction sector say that projects have been cancelled and 90 per cent expect workloads to reduce. Ontario is expected to be the star performer in construction growth this year. Between 17 and 27 per cent of respondents expect construction in sectors other than energy, industrial and infrastructure to fall although those in the public housing sector are least concerned about the impact of lower oil prices.
Foreign ownership may not be such a big deal in Vancouver
Real estate agents and developers in Vancouver say that foreign ownership of commercial property in the city may be overstated. Agents have been responding to a TV report about a property sold by CBRE which was marketed to international rather than domestic buyers. The Vancouver Sun quotes agents and developers who, although surprised at the deal not being widely known in the community, were not overly concerned. The majority say that most of the commercial real estate transactions that take place in the city involve domestic buyers.
Consumers less confident on house prices
The weekly survey of Canadian confidence in the economy continues to increase but the percentage believing that home prices will be higher in 6 months is lower. The Bloomberg/Nanos research shows that for the week to May 11 overall confidence was higher although job security and real estate declined slightly while the general economy and personal finances showed higher optimism. The proportion who said that home prices would be higher in 6 months was down to 35.94 per cent from 37.79 per cent a week earlier; with 14.92 per cent predicting a decline; and 46.92 per cent expecting them to stay the same.