As of April, over 20,800 units in Calgary stood uninhabited, representing a historic 67 percent yearly increase in vacancy levels in a city battling with a weak energy segment and growing unemployment.
As duely reported by Reid Southwick of Postmedia News, April’s vacancy rate of 4.3 percent is the highest since 2004’s 4.33 percent.
The figures came as results of the city’s latest civic census was made known, showing that more people left Calgary than moved in despite the April 2016 population increasing marginally to 1.2 million.
The growing figures of unemployment due to the layoffs in the oil and commercial sectors have caused this deterioration and propelled the cycle of declining prices.
Calgary Real Estate Board chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie stated that “The trends are pointing toward easing pricing,” adding that “There continues to be weak demand. Supply levels are maybe not increasing at the same rate but they’re still rising.”
“We’re seeing more inventory,” Lurie claimed. “The overall weakness is partly because we don’t have those migrants coming in, so housing demand is fairly weak, too, and we’re seeing that reflected in our sales.”
There were about 6,000 listings in Calgary in June, which is the most since 2011.
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) predicted something similar, with a conjecture of 7 percent vacancy in Calgary’s rental apartments by fall.
“We’re seeing less demand and more supply,” CMHC market analyst Richard Cho said.
CMHC is expected to release a new report this week, on the status of overbuilding and overpricing in the city.