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Calgary Misery Index – A Reason For Optimism in The Housing Market September 23, 2008

Posted by DustinRJay in Calgary real estate, inflation.
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The misery index is a commonly used as a metric for stagflation.  Stagflation is a combination of high unemployment and high inflation.  High inflation and low unemployment rates created sharply rising house prices in the Calgary real estate market during the period from 1973 – 1983.  In 1983, rapidly rising  unemployment caused inflation levels to cool significantly, and house prices to fall. Again in 1990, upward trending unemployment rates caused house prices to stay flat for roughly 8 years.

In general, the following conditions are supportive of real estate growth:

  • Low unemployment
  • High Inflation

Today, we have near record low levels of unemployment (3.6%) and relatively high inflation (4.3%) and therefore provides two reasons for conservative optimism in the Calgary real estate market.

The following graph illustrates the relationship between inflation and unemployment to house prices:

Data Sources: CREB, Bob Truman – First Place Realty, Statistics Canada – Calgary Inflation, Alberta Unemployment Rate