Red hot housing market cause for concern

CALGARY- Calgary’s red-hot housing market shows no sign of slowing down, and that has experts sounding the alarm over the amount of people being priced out.

A report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities says a third of Canadians are concerned about the high cost of housing, and according to the mayor Calgary is no exception.

“We need to have a real discussion across this country, but particularly in this city, to talk about how demand meets supply, how the market works and how that needs to lead to a much greater supply of entry level and rental housing,” said Naheed Nenshi. “It’s time for us to really step back and say, ‘is the regulation of the market causing this problem?’ Because you would expect supply and demand to meet in a free market, but something is not working as well as it should.”

However, solving the affordability issue is no easy task, and the market continues to grow.

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“There’s a wide selection of housing out there, and obviously for any person looking to buy a house they really need to understand the carrying costs and what the monthly payments will be,” explains Lai Sing Louie, from the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Housing starts, sales and prices continue to trend up, and part of the pressure in Calgary is due to the estimated 30,000 people expected to move to the city over the next year.

“We’re forecasting growth of 2.8 per cent this year, and 2.5 per cent next year,” says Richard Cho from CMHC. “These are pretty strong rates of growth when you compare to the national average.”

The average Calgary home costs more than $430,000.

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