Mortgage Basics

Calgary Housing Market Outlook 2023

Calgary Housing Market Outlook 2023
Written by
  • Samson Solomon
| Aug 16, 2023
Reviewed, Sep 21, 2023

Calgary Market Report Summary

  • The benchmark single-family home in Calgary increased by 6.8% year-over-year to $629,800 in July 2023. In comparison, provincially, the benchmark single-family home sale price in Alberta was up 2.7% from a year ago to $546,200.
  • Calgary’s benchmark townhouse house price increased by 11.6% year-over-year to $431,900 in July 2023. In comparison, provincially, the row/townhouse sale price in Alberta is up by 8.5% from a year ago to $371,200.
  • The benchmark condo price in Calgary increased by 10.1% year-over-year to $313,500 in July 2023. In comparison, provincially, the benchmark condo sale price in Alberta is also up by 8.9% from a year ago to $269,500.
  • Calgary’s benchmark composite home price increased by 5.6% year-over-year to $551,300 in July 2023. In comparison, provincially, the average home sale price in Alberta was up by 2.2% from a year ago to $483,300.
  • The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Calgary increased by 15.4% year-over-year to $1,798 for July 2023.

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Calgary Housing Market Summary

Data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) indicates that the average price of resale residential homes sold across Calgary in July 2023 was $551,300, a slight increase of 5.6% compared to a year ago. 

With a sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) of 82%, Calgary has been stuck in a  seller’s market since the start of the year.

Verbatim: What local experts from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) say about Calgary’s regional housing market:

Rising rates had little impact on sales this month as the 2,647 sales represented a year-over-year gain of 18%, reflecting the strongest July levels reported on record. The record-setting pace has been driven mainly by significant gains in the relatively affordable apartment condominium sector. Despite recent gains, year-to-date sales have declined by 19% over last year.

In line with seasonal expectations, sales and new listings trended down compared to last month. However, this had minimal impact on inventory levels, which remained near the July record low set in 2006. With a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 82% and 1.3 months supply, conditions continue to favour the seller.

“Continued migration to the province, along with our relative affordability, has supported the stronger demand for housing despite higher lending rates,” said CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “At the same time, we continue to struggle with supply in the resale, new home and rental markets resulting in further upward pressure on home prices.” 

The unadjusted total residential benchmark price in July reached $567,700, marking the seventh consecutive monthly gain. Prices are now over four% higher than the previous peak in May of 2022.

Month-over-Month Market Expectations

Month Composite Price Units Sold New Listings SNLR Market
January $520,900 1,199 1,852 65% Sellers
February $525,900 1,740 2,389 73% Sellers
March $531,200 2,432 3,318 73% Sellers
April $550,800 2690 3133 86% Sellers
May $557,000 3,120 3,652 85% Sellers
June $564,700 3,146 3,939 80% Sellers
July $551,300 2,647 3,247 82% Sellers
Data and figures were collected from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Board (CREA).

The sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) is the number of home sales compared to new listings. An SNLR under 40% suggests a buyer’s market where buyers have the upper hand and more negotiating power. An SNLR between 40% and 60% is a balanced market, while an SNLR of over 60% is considered a seller’s market. 

Market Expectations Breakdown By Property Type

Property Type Sales New Listings SNLR Benchmark Price Market
Single Family Home 1,197 1,587 75% $629,800 Sellers
Townhouse/Row/Multiplex 678 736 92% $431,900 Sellers
Condo / Apartments 772 924 84% $313,500 Sellers
Total Residential 2,647 3,247 82% $551,300 Sellers
Data and figures were collected from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Board (CREA).

Historical Changes To Benchmark Prices In Calgary By Property Type

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Who’s Buying Calgary Real Estate?

Until recently, the primary demographics driving demand in Calgary’s residential property market were those looking to upsize their homes, foreign investors looking to purchase an investment property, professionals who recently immigrated to Canada in the past 5 years, and out-of-province migrants advancing their careers in and around Calgary. 

With the passing of the omnibus Bill C-32 legislation, including the foreign buyers’ ban and anti-flipping tax, the Calgary homebuyers’ demographic may be shifting away from foreign investment. However, it remains to be seen whether efforts to limit foreign buyers in Calgary will have an impact; according to Statistics Canada, foreign investors make up less than 5% of homeowners in Calgary’s total homeownership. However, that number significantly jumps to when considering properties bought by non-Alberta residents, especially in the province’s current boom.

Multi-property Investors

According to an article by the Calgary Herald, investors and multi-property owners accounted for over a third of homebuyers in 2021, particularly the numbers were higher in Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia. There were no specific numbers for Calgary but it can be implied that many Ontario and BC residents looking for affordable real estate investments will aim to purchase in Calgary, where market rents are enough to cover the cost of carrying an investment property.

First-time homebuyers have traditionally accounted for more than half of all purchases. However, that share has slowly declined, reaching a low of 46.8% in June 2021, with real estate investors and multiple property owners picking up the difference. 
According to Statistics Canada, multiple property owners represent 15% of owners in BC and Ontario and 20% in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia but hold 30% and 40% of existing housing stock, respectively.

Upsizing Buyers

Upsizing by buyers has driven Calgary’s demand for single-family homes, which showed the highest year-on-year price increase of all property types from $458,300 in February 2020, which is still more than 27% lower than today’s price at $584,700. Upsizing buyers continued to explode some of Calgary’s suburbs, like those in Arbour Lake, Haysboro, Fairview, Cougar Ridge, Hillhurst, Walden or Capitol Hill.

Immigration & Out-of-province Migration

While the pandemic saw thousands of homebuyers leaving urban areas searching for more space and affordable housing, new immigrants are making Calgary homes a continued surge. Many Ontarians, British Columbians, and residents from other provinces continue to move to Alberta – most relocating to its bustling economic capital of Calgary. According to this report by Re/Max, the federal government expects to bring an additional 2 million new immigrants to Canada – many of whom will still choose to settle in Alberta and Calgary.

First-Time Homebuyers

Getting a mortgage in Calgary as a first-time buyer can be less challenging than in many other large cities in Canada. Calgary has similar property tax rates to Toronto or Montreal, with over 0.71% of property value. However, the location and tax rates are much more palatable compared to the suburbs of Brooks (1.13%) and Lacombe (1.11%).

While programs like the First Time Home Buyer Incentive are in place to help people afford homes in Calgary, this has yet to do much to offset affordability as the stress test makes it harder to qualify. At the same time, the Bank of Canada keeps rates elevated – adding a barrier to qualifying for a home without a combined household income over $140,000. 

Given the slowdown over the last 12 months in home prices, Calgary remains a difficult market to purchase a first home without outside financial assistance

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Market Rents Summary

The Canadian rental market experienced a record-breaking surge in August, with average rents soaring to an all-time high. This trend indicates a significant shift in the country’s rental landscape, with prices continuing to escalate despite increasing rental completions. Below, we delve into this trend with data from and Urbanation, examining the changes across various provinces and cities.

National Overview: A Record-Breaking Surge

August witnessed a remarkable rise in the average asking rents in Canada. The average rent reached an all-time high of $2,117, marking a monthly increase of 1.8% and an impressive annual growth rate of 9.6%. This trend is a testament to the escalating demand in the rental market as the country struggles with a severe rental housing shortage.

Over the past three months, the Canadian rental market experienced a significant 5.1% increase in asking rents from May to August. This equates to an increase of $103 monthly, putting additional pressure on renters. Shaun Hildebrand, President of Urbanation, shed light on this trend, noting that unlike in the U.S., rent inflation in Canada has stayed the same, even with rental completions reaching their highest levels in decades. This gives an idea of the dire rental housing shortage across the country and the impact on rental demand as the population expands rapidly.

Quebec’s Rental Market: Steady Climb

In Quebec, the rental market is also experiencing a steady rise. The province, known for its rich culture and picturesque landscapes, has seen average asking rents grow by 24.0% annually to $888 monthly for shared units. The surge in rental prices in Quebec is mainly attributed to the robust demand for rental housing, driven by the province’s growing population and strong economy.

The Greater Montreal area, in particular, has seen a significant rent increase. Despite the city’s efforts to provide affordable housing, the average asking rents have surpassed the $2,000 mark for the first time, reaching $2,001. This has increased financial strain on renters, particularly those with lower incomes.

Ontario’s Rental Landscape: The Expensive Side of Living

Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is familiar with high living costs, particularly in the rental market. The province saw an annual rent increase of 7.5% to an average of $1,040 for shared accommodations. This trend is particularly prevalent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where the average monthly rent has reached $2,898.

Despite being one of the country’s most expensive cities, Toronto posted a below-average annual rent increase of 8.7%. Nevertheless, the cost of renting in Toronto remains high, while rental vacancies are at a two-decade low. This increasing unaffordability and low availability is a significant concern for many residents and employers looking to attract talent.

Alberta’s Rental Market: Leading in Growth

Alberta’s rental market has grown the fastest among Canada’s largest cities. Calgary, in particular, leads in rent growth, recording an enormous 17.3% year-on-year increase in August, bringing the average rent to $2,068 for purpose-built and condominium apartments.

Despite the economic challenges faced by the province due to the fluctuating oil and gas industry, Alberta’s rental market has remained resilient. The significant rent rise in Alberta is primarily due to the province’s steady rental demand, driven by its growing population and recovering economy.

British Columbia’s Rental Market: High Prices Amid High Mountains

British Columbia (BC), known for its stunning landscapes and high living costs, has also witnessed a considerable increase in rental prices. In BC, average asking rents for shared accommodations increased by 17.7% annually to $1,150 monthly.

Vancouver, BC’s largest city, continues to be the most expensive city in Canada, with an average monthly rent of $3,316. However, Vancouver posted a below-average annual rent increase of 7.3% and even saw a 0.7% decrease in average rents monthly. This indicates that the city’s rental market may be stabilizing, although the cost of renting remains high.

The Time to Purchase a Home is Now

In conclusion, the Canadian rental market has been experiencing an unprecedented price surge, with rents increasing faster than ever. This trend and the ongoing rental housing shortage have pressured renters nationwide.

Given these circumstances, it might be an opportune time to consider purchasing a home. Despite the high upfront costs, owning a home can offer long-term financial benefits and stability, especially in a market where rents are skyrocketing. Thus, starting planning and taking the necessary steps toward homeownership is vital. After all, a home is not just a place to live but also an investment for the future.

Rental Cost Escalation Due To Housing Affordability Constraints

This past month, CMHC released some quantified findings from their 2022 Rental Market Survey. Their experts indicated rental markets tightening in many urban centres and created two different measurements to show the lack of housing supply in the country.  You can read the full report, while the data can be easily illustrated in two charts.

Share Of Affordable Units By Major Urban Centre

The first indicator measures the share of units that are affordable (whose rent represents less than 30% of pre-tax income) for the lowest income group of renters, those in the lowest income quintile (20%).

Chart showing share of affordable rental units by cities in Canada

*Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge Source: CMHC

Change In Average Rent For A 2-Bedroom Unit

The second indicator allows us to measure the average rent for newly rented units, that is, apartments whose occupants arrived in the last 12 months. This new statistic is very relevant because it allows us to compare it with the average rent for units occupied for more than a year.

Chart showing change in average rental costs for 2 bedrooms in major cities around Canada (new and already leased) in 2022.

Source: Provincial governments, CMHC Rental Market Survey (2022)

Each $100K in mortgage balance costs an average of $601.11 per month on nesto’s lowest fixed 5-year rate at and $641.25 per month on nesto’s lowest variable 5-year rate at .  Rates used for calculation are those offered on insured purchases with less than a 20% downpayment on a 25-year amortization.  Each 0.25% change in mortgage rates impacts the monthly payment by $15 to $17 on a 25-year amortization.

Rental Prices Compared to Other Canadian Cities

Rental Prices Compared to Other Provinces and Nationally

Average Rents by Housing Type

Rental Growth by Housing Type

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Calgary housing market going to crash in 2023?

Calgary home prices are currently sagging a bit compared to last year’s surge in the housing market nationally due to the Bank of Canada’s rate hikes. Calgary prices remain below average compared to the rest of the country, and with the current Bank of Canada rate hikes, mortgages have been harder to qualify for due to the stress test. Calgary prices will recover quicker than in other areas once mortgage rates decline back to manageable levels for homebuyers to purchase or homeowners to refinance their homes.

Will Calgary housing prices increase in 2023?

Although slightly increased already, many experts believe a bigger turnaround is imminent.  Buyers are waiting on the sidelines for the opportune time to make a move. The market has already started to get past balanced territory.

How do I get approved for a mortgage in Calgary?

To get approved for a mortgage in Calgary, look at Calgary mortgage rates and see how much you can afford. This will give you an idea of what it will cost to buy a home in Calgary at today’s prices and rates. You can check out what you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage or start by getting a quote.

Final Thoughts

Calgary’s property market is set to remain strong as increases are expected for the remainder of 2023. The average home price in Calgary is recovering quicker than in other areas around Canada. This comes after months of record consecutive price rises during the pandemic and one of the most intense periods of price appreciation last year. 

While the property market appears to be recovering value in Calgary, it’s important to remember that small volatility should be expected over the long term. It’s always a good time to buy a property if you’re a qualified buyer. Over the long term, expect property values to keep surging as immigration brings more buyers to the Canadian market.

If you are looking for a home in 2023, expect an imminent turnaround in the housing market over the next few months. Contact our knowledgeable and commission-free mortgage experts at nesto to help guide you through the home-buying process.

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