Boost in migration strengthens Calgary, Okotoks and surrounding areas housing market: CMHC

CALGARY — Strong employment growth in the Calgary region has sparked more people from other parts of the country to move here, buoying the local housing market for the next two years.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., net migration to the Calgary census metropolitan area will balloon to 20,000 people this year after numbers dropped to 9,209 in 2010 and 11,220 in 2011. And the CMHC is forecasting net migration to the region to be 18,000 in 2013.

“With the relative strength of our labour market, the growth of employment and a low unemployment rate will help attract people to Calgary,” said Richard Cho, senior market analyst in Calgary for the CMHC on Tuesday as the agency held its 19th Annual Alberta Housing Outlook Conference in Calgary.

“Net migration is a key component to housing demand . . . Whenever you have an influx of people come to a region you’re going to see some strong demand for housing in the rental market as well as in the homeownership market.”

Net migration to the Calgary region peaked in 2006 as it approached 25,000 people.

Those net migration numbers will help boost MLS® sales by 15.7 per cent this year in the Calgary CMA to 26,000 transactions and by another 1.9 per cent in 2013 to 26,500 sales.

The CMHC is forecasting average MLS® sale prices in the Calgary region to rise by 2.0 per cent this year to $411,000 and by another 2.7 per cent next year to $422,000.

Total housing starts are estimated to rise by 33.4 per cent this year to 12,400 units but dip by 4.0 per cent in 2013 to 11,900.



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