Photo: Bill Longstaff/Flickr
Home sales surged in Calgary last month, likely a result of new mortgage rules that come into effect in the new year, says the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
A total of 1,411 homes changed hands in November, up 15 per cent from a year ago and comparable to long-term averages for the month, according to CREB’s latest data, published today.
“The combination of improved confidence and pending mortgage rule changes have likely contributed to the stronger sales activity this month,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB chief economist, in a statement.
On January 1, a new mortgage qualification stress test will come into effect, requiring all uninsured mortgage borrowers to qualify at either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or at their contract mortgage rate, plus an additional two per cent.
According to Lurie, Calgary’s improving economic conditions should help offset the impact to the housing market after the new rules come into action.
She adds that the last time Calgary sales activity spiked to long-term averages for the month was October 2016, coinciding with the announcement of the stress test for high-ratio loans.
In November, sales activity improved in each of the city’s housing segments, with most of the gains occurring in homes priced under $500,000.
Although sales rose last month, supply relative to demand remains elevated, which continues to weigh on prices, says CREB.
The benchmark price of a home in the city was $436,700, an uptick of 0.46 per cent above November 2016.
Here are 9 more facts that show how activity in Calgary picked up steam in November: