Have you ever wanted to sit in on the Calgary Real Estate Board annual Forecast? Here’s your chance. This is the Forecast presentation by Anne-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist. The presentation is about 45 minutes long and I focused on every minute of it. You might like to investigate a couple of specifics and skip the rest so I’ve made it easy for you. Just peruse the caption overview below and turn into the time periods that are of most interest. If you prefer to skip through and catch her charts and high lights I’ve done a wrap-up overview at the end.

Cole’s Notes:
CREB Member’s Forecast meeting.  Q4 20

We have more data now about Covid.   1:30

Jumped back from desperation to 200k Alberta jobs lost. 2:00

Alberta is impacted more than the rest of Canada   2:57

In Alberta Lethbridge & Medicine Hat are the best markets because they are not as dependent on energy sector jobs.  5:20

Analysts are saying markets could go down by as much as 20%.   6:10
We have not dropped as
 much as Ann Marie expected because supply has dropped off in balance to sales.  6:45

Activity is not as bad as what was expected.    8:20

If things don’t change the economic fundamentals will continue to weigh on our market.  8:50

August this year was similar to August of 2019 although last year was fairly down.  9:15

In some ways our supply/sales adjusted numbers are (at this point) better than pre-Covid. 11:10
We have a market that is temporarily better than what we expected. Prices are solidifying and in fact going up.

Most of the improvement is solely in the detached single-family sector. 12:35

The apartment condo market is off the charts. 13:05

Covid has caused the Calgary detached market to become balanced. 13:25

As commute times become less of a factor due to Covid satellite towns are seeing an upswing.  14:40

While we are seeing market stabilization it is dependent on  which segment of the market you are talking about. 15:40

While the detached market has a long way to go to get back to the 2014 market we are beginning to see a trend reversal due to pent up demand of Covid-19.  16:30

The apartment market is seeing a price adjustment of 18% since 2014. 17:00

Market trends are different depending on the sector or market zone you are in.  18:10

The city center and west zones are seeing the least amount of market resilience. Partly because these tend to be the most expensive areas. 19:05

The lower end of the detached market surprisingly has seen somewhat of an upswing during Covid -19 shut downs. 20:30

The lower priced homes are selling well. They are limited by supply more than buying activity. 21:10

Upper price ranges( $600k plus) are seeing price declines. 21:30

The $500 to $700 range is seeing a reduction in the absorption rate. 22:15

Other regions in Canada have seen record high real estate sales prices. Calgary is not experiencing that because our job losses are more focused in the energy sector. 23:40

We were just starting to get back and now they weigh on our market again.  25:35

The market pressure that we are seeing on the top end of our market will persist. 25:45

Higher density product has been the most challenged market sector. This is partly due to new product keeping inventory high. 28:55

Alberta’s economy is expected decline by 8.7%. Making it one of the worst recessions that we’ve seen. 29:43

 Oil prices are expected to remain low with the optimistic projection of energy industry recovery being 2022. 31:37

western Canada Select is down 27% – Active rigs -66% – Oil production -12%  32:08

Provincial migration numbers are not nearly as negative as the early 1980s recession. Migration is a determinant of real estate market buoyancy. If migration levels hold, we should not see as dire a housing market as we did then. This is yet to be seen. 33:32

Alberta employment forecast are better than it was earlier. Job loss expectations are to be in the 135,000 range of jobs lost in 2020.  36:45

Employment recovery is not anticipated until 2023. 37:00

Unemployment in Calgary is expected to remain over 10% for the next two years. 37:22

If the current rate of unemployment is sustained over a long period, we could see percentage price adjustments similar to the early 1980s. 38:40

In the 1980s it took several years for prices to reach bottom. 39:55

In 2020 many of the jobs that have been bolstering the numbers have been part time positions. 40:55

The economy was forecast to be worse off than it is. That has been primarily due to the significant amount of government support. 41:52

 The concern is that once CREB and EI benefits and mortgage deferrals stop there will be an increase of defaults leading to supply gains. 42:51

Low interest rates are helping to buoy up the market. 44:37

Considering the employment numbers there is a significant amount of downside risk. 44:48

Question period. 46:15