Healthy Spring Real Estate Market Forecast for Calgary

Calgary real estate -With the Spring real estate market just around the corner, demand continues to be fairly strong as the inventory of homes for sale remains low.

And that has many people wondering if they should grasp that opportunity and put their homes on the market.

“Right now inventory levels are historically lowest in the winter. People who are looking in the winter are typically motivated. They’re not waiting until Spring. But we are in these circumstances where nationally, and actually North America wide, inventory levels are at record lows,” said Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President of RE/MAX of Western Canada.

“So if you’re thinking of making a move, I’ll tell you, there probably isn’t a better time. There are buyers out there . . . It is record low inventory so take advantage of it.”

In Calgary for example, the market has seen seven straight months of year-over-year MLS sales increases. As of Thursday, sales for January just over 37 per cent higher than a year ago, new listings are up by just under one per cent and the inventory of active listings, which is just under 4,000, is about 20 per cent lower than a year ago.

If you’ve decided that this is the right time to sell your home, the top priority is the marketing of the home, which means staging it.

“Even when you’re going to be using a virtual tour, which is common place now, you still need it presented in the proper light. And that’s what staging is all about,” said Ash.

“I think sometimes people get a little intimidated by the word stage. It’s really preparing the home to look its best. In marketing the property it’s just making sure it’s presented in its best light. That’s the number one thing.

“There’s a competitive advantage to doing that even in today’s market . . .  A small investment of time and some money will reap returns. Dollars in your pocket.”

Costa Poulopoulos, Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association, said the real estate market will be busy come Spring across Canada with strong demand and a low inventory a dynamic playing out in most markets.

He said Canada can expect a “super strong” Spring market. 

“We’re coming off a record year in real estate sales in Canada. The best year ever. Broke the record of 2016. We had over 550,000 sales in 2020. That’s a brand new record. The momentum is spilling over. Kicking off 2021 is already indicating that the activity is strong. We’re looking at record sales activity, record low supply ever by a significant margin,” said Poulopoulos.

“The most important factor for the Spring market is the active listings. Just to put it in perspective, we had under 100,000 listings on all MLS systems across Canada (at the end of 2020). That’s the lowest in 30 years of collecting data. Like five years ago, there were 250,0000 listings on the MLS. We need listings. When there’s a short supply and there’s still demand, Economics 101 basically is that things are still going to be strong. We just need to find some inventory.”

Some parts of the country are in tighter market conditions. But whether it’s Toronto, Vancouver or Calgary, market conditions point to an ideal time and environment for people to list their homes. 

It’s important to engage a realtor who is aware of the market conditions and who can price a home accordingly to match those conditions. A potential buyer should be ready as well and because of the competitive nature, and how things can move swiftly in the selling of a listing, it would be wise to have pre-approved financing in place to act quickly if needed.

Flexibility in possession of a new home can be important at this time as well.

If you are selling your home, the property should be sale ready as it hits the market.

“Paint is probably the most inexpensive way to beautify a property. Declutter. Put away things that are kind of in the way. Take down things that are of a personal nature so prospective buyers can see themselves in the house. Make it as neutral where a buyer can come in and say I can see my stuff in here,” said Poulopoulos. “Make sure your walkways are safe and your lights outside are working. 

“Make it a showcase . . . These are the golden rules that never change. With most markets in Canada today, you’re getting more demand than supply and being a seller’s market they do have the opportunity.”