Calgary’s sellers’ market means tough luck for buyers

Anyone looking to move in Calgary will likely notice a lack of listing to choose from, as realtors report a “tremendous shortage” of listings in Calgary’s housing market.

A new Royal LePage Housing Price Survey shows Calgary is once again defying the norms across the country, seeing homes for sale snatched up in less than a week and higher prices year-over-year.

Ted Zaharko, broker and owner of Royal Lepage-Foothills, estimates Calgary would need 3,000 more listings for the market to start leveling out.

He said one of the reasons there are so few homes listed right now is people who bought years ago have been waiting for the market to get back to 2007 pricing levels, when the housing market bubble popped.

“The sad thing is that maybe people should have made the decision to take a hit earlier because it’s a relative thing, you recover your equity but the prices in Calgary have gone up, so really you didn’t gain much by waiting,” said Zaharko.

He said there is also reluctance from home owners to put their homes on the market because people are worried about being able to find somewhere else to move into.

“It’s a catch-22 because if you don’t sell your house you can’t buy another house most likely, and most people can’t afford to carry two properties and so it’s very difficult,” said Zaharko.

He predicts because Calgary buyers are in a tough spot, they may turn to surrounding communities, making places like flood-impacted High River a potential hot spot for recovery.

He noted there are listings available in Calgary, but for one reason or another, those lots, aren’t selling.

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