Calgary Housing and Economic Outlook 2018

Posted by Robert McIntyre on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 at 2:19pm.


Housing market conditions are expected to remain relatively unchanged in 2018, as the impact of higher lending rates and stricter lending criteria are offset by modest improvements in the economic climate. Recent changes may have prolonged the recovery period in our market, but it is not expected to completely derail the transition.

The path to recovery is expected to be bumpy, as the market adjusts to a new normal. We are entering 2018 with elevated supply levels and an environment of rising rates paired with stricter lending criteria. However, the improving economy generated modest job growth and net migration last year, with expectations of further improvements into 2018.

The opposing impacts of the changes in the lending environment and economic gains are expected to cause adjustments in demand/supply balances based on price range and product type, creating pockets of over/under supply and generating different paths of price recovery. Overall, it is expected to generate conditions comparable to 2017 and the dynamics within each sector of the market will vary.

Minimal changes in sales activity are expected to be met with easing new listings for some property types, limiting the upward pressure on supply. This should help support more balanced conditions, preventing widespread benchmark price declines.

More balanced market conditions will be led by the attached and detached sectors of the market, while the apartment sector will continue to struggle with excess inventory in 2018. Prices will likely continue to face some downward pressure in the apartment sector, with stabilization not expected until the latter portion of the year.

The attached sector may benefit from changes in distribution, as some demand shifts from the detached sector to the attached sector of the market, supporting modest price gains of 0.38 per cent. Easing demand in the detached sector is expected to be met with easing listings, supporting overall stability in pricing.


(1) Improvements in the economic climate countering the impact of changes in lending criteria

(2) Employment growth and reduction in the unemployment rate

(3) Modest gains in migration

(4) Easing vacancy rates in the rental market
(5) Relative affordability in the market
(6) Improved confidence in the overall economy


(1) Stricter lending criteria and rising rates has a greater than expected impact on demand for housing, causing downward pressure on prices

(2) Any significant shifts in the energy sector could affect employment and confidence in the market, influencing overall housing activity

(3) If unemployment levels remain elevated this could weigh on demand and prevent easing in supply levels

(4) If employment growth, wages and net migration improve at a faster pace than expected, stronger than expected demand growth in 2018 may occur

(5) High office vacancy, drop in rents, housing availability in all price ranges, and the available pool of skilled labour could help attract business investment to the city

(6) Changes to NAFTA could cause uncertainty in the market, impacting economic growth


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