A number of things that occurred in 2014 will have an impact on Calgary’s housing market in 2015.
The New Home Buyer Protection Act gives more protection to the consumer and CHBA endorses this legislation completely. The number of housing starts this year is led by multi-family builders, who are responding to demand from first-time buyers and homeowners looking to downsize who are looking for more affordable, convenient, safe housing that meets their needs. At the same time, this form of housing creates more choice for more people in more places and aligns with the Municipal Development Plan.
One of the changes will be a lot count survey the city will be updating monthly that will identify how much land is available for development, making it easier for developers and the city to plan for future needs.
The Smarter Growth initiative is a collaboration between CHBA-CR and the Urban Development Institute that explores and explains the development process.
Going forward, the major challenges from last year — in particular, Calgary’s dramatic growth and low housing inventory, especially rental accommodation — will affect the market this year, as will a new one, one that is difficult to predict: The price of oil.
If (a low oil price) is prolonged and severe, it will impact consumer confidence which, of course, is a prime motivator for home buying.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has forecast a slowdown to more sustainable levels this year anyway, so a drop in housing starts isn’t unexpected. The challenge will be how low (oil prices) goes.
Some changes to legislation coming in or proposed will also affect the market. While the changes will protect consumers, it will mean some changes to the way homes are built and in turn, may mean some cost increases for builders.