Photo: Lambert Rellosa/Flickr

An economist with one of Canada’s big banks predicts Calgary’s home prices will begin to increase very modestly looking ahead, with one exception.

“Barring a big upturn in oil prices, I would not expect Alberta’s economy to boom as it was in 2007 or 2013-2014,” BMO Senior Economist Sal Guatieri tells Livabl.

Oil prices have taken a hit immediately following the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision delivered on Thursday to rule against the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, which at a minimum delays the plan to increase pipeline capacity between Alberta and BC.

Without an oil boom, Guatieri anticipates home-price growth in Calgary to track around the rate of inflation in the coming years. “They’re still softening a little bit,” he points out.

In the Calgary Real Estate Board’s Calgary 2018 Economic & Housing Outlook, the board forecast home prices would decline by 1.17 per cent this year.

“The province is not losing people the way it was during the oil crash,” says Guatieri. That, and a lower unemployment rate are positive indicators, he suggests. But they aren’t enough to make for a hot housing market.

“It’s not like the economy is going gangbusters,.” says Guatieri.

Guatieri declined to comment on what sort of direct impact, if any, the federal court’s decision would have on the city and province’s housing markets.

However, he adds, “The sooner Alberta gets its oil to the west coast and out to Asia, obviously that would support the provincial economy and the housing market.”

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