The aggregate home price in Calgary decreased 1.5 per cent year over year to $468,974 in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released on Thursday.

The report said the median price of a condominium increased 0.2 per cent to $286,453 while the median price of a two-storey home decreased 0.9 per cent year over year to $513,616. Bungalows also decreased by 3.7 per cent to $490,170.

“Although our resale market is still challenged, rental vacancy rates are low, and rent is expected to go up four per cent this year. This may contribute to more renters deciding to become homeowners instead, and specifically condominiums,” said Corinne Lyall, broker and owner at Royal LePage Benchmark, in a statement. “We see this is already happening in the condo market and is expected to continue.

“Fewer new listings are resulting in some multiple offers for properties in desirable neighbourhoods that are priced right. That said, this activity is being spurred by price reductions and recently decreased interest rates. Despite fewer properties being listed, our inventory is still high and there are many options for buyers who are looking. As well, I imagine that will shift as we are moving into our spring market when sellers start preparing to move before the end of summer.”

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the aggregate price of a home in Calgary is expected to dip 0.5 per cent to $466,727 in the second quarter as home prices are expected to stabilize during the spring market, added the report.

In 63 markets across Canada, the price of a home increased 2.7 per cent year over year to $621,575 in the first quarter of 2019, well below the long-term norm of approximately five per cent. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 2.6 per cent to $729,553, while the median price of a bungalow rose 1.1 per cent to $513,497. Condominiums remained the fastest growing housing type on a national basis, rising 5.4 per cent year over year to $447,260, the report said.

“We are expecting this to be a sluggish year overall in Canada’s residential real estate market, with the hangover from the 2018 market correction and weaker economic growth acting as a drag on home price appreciation, balanced by lower for longer interest rates,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage, in a statement. “There is a silver lining here. This slowdown gives buyers, and first-time buyers in particular, an opportunity to buy real estate in our country’s largest cities.”

View the article online by Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary Business