Covid-10’s impact on Calgary housing market continues

Media release: COVID-19’s impact on Calgary housing market continues

City of Calgary, June 1, 2020 –

Housing market activity in May remained slow, but sales exceeded the lows from April, which saw less than 600 sales in Calgary. 

May sales totalled 1,080 units, a 44 per cent decline from last year’s figures. 

“The initial shock of COVID-19 and social distancing measure is starting to ease. This is bringing some buyers and sellers back to the market. However, this market continues to remain far from normal and prices are trending down,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

“Activity has also shifted toward more affordable product, which is likely causing differing trends depending on product type and price range.”

Sales are down in all price ranges, but a greater share of sales are priced below $500,000. 

In the higher price ranges the drop in inventory has not been enough compared to the drop in sales. Additionally, the months of supply is far higher than the already elevated levels seen during the past five years. 

The shift in sales toward lower-priced product is contributing to steep average price declines in the Calgary market.

Benchmark pricing, which reflects comparisons of the same type of home, has eased by over two per cent compared to last year and 0.4 per cent compared to last month. This does not come as a surprise as the market continues to struggle with more supply than demand.

COVID-19 and social distancing measures have contributed to rising unemployment rates and job losses throughout many economic sectors. This is weighing on consumer confidence and the housing market. Some of this job loss is temporary, but the energy sector remains the largest concern. 

Significant job loss throughout the typically higher-paid professional and technical services sector points to a longer adjustment period in the housing market, particularly in the higher end of the market.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Detached sales eased across the city, with the largest declines occurring in the West district.
  • May sales totalled 670 units. This is a 43 per cent decline over the previous year. 
  • The decline was met with lower inventory levels. However, it was not enough to change the oversupply situation. Citywide months of supply remained above four months.
  • For the higher-priced districts – the West and City Centre – the months of supply rose to seven months.
  • Detached home prices trended down in May compared to the previous month and remained nearly two per cent below last year’s levels. Declines varied across the city, with the highest price declines occurring in the City Centre, West, North West and North East districts.

Apartment

  • Apartment sales totalled 137 units in May, an improvement from the 95 units last month. However, this is still nearly 60 per cent below last year’s levels. The pullback in inventory was not enough to offset the slower sales, and the months of supply jumped to 10 months. 
  • The benchmark price continued to fall and is now more than two per cent lower than last year’s levels. The average and median prices fell at a significant rate. This is because a large share of the sales occurred in the under-$200,000 price range.
  • Benchmark prices eased across all districts, but the year-over-year decline was the highest in the North East district, with declines of over five per cent.

Attached

  • Mirroring the trend from other property types, sales for attached product slowed by 35 per cent compared to last year for a total of 273 units. Inventory levels eased to 1,503 units and months of supply totalled 5.5 months. The months of supply has eased from the levels recorded last month, but it remains elevated relative to historical levels for this time of year.
  • The benchmark price trended down for attached product, declining by nearly one per cent over the previous month and nearly four per cent compared to the previous year.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Sales in Airdrie totalled 99 units in May. Activity has slowed compared to previous years, but the decline has not been as steep as what has been recorded in Calgary. The region has also seen a similar decline in new listings and inventory levels. This has helped push the months of supply back to four months, which is similar to the levels recorded prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Benchmark prices have eased slightly compared to last month and are relatively stable compared to last year. However, there has been a notable decline in both the average and median prices. The decline in average and median prices is mostly related to the significant shift in activity by price range, as sales continued to improve for product priced below $300,000.

Cochrane

  • Sales in Cochrane have slowed, but the pullback in new listings has outpaced the easing sales. This is causing inventories to fall and lowering the months of supply to under five months, a decline of 9 per cent compared to last year.
  • However, the impact of previous months oversupply has weighed on benchmark prices, which have eased by two per cent compared to last year. However, unlike other areas, the average and median prices have been rising, as sales in the $400,000 – $499,999 range remained stable compared to last year and represent a larger share of overall sales compared to last year.

Okotoks

  • While improving slightly compared to last month, Okotoks sales have remained relatively weak in May. At the same time, inventory decline has helped offset the slower sales, leaving the months of supply at four months.
  • The benchmark price trended down for the third month in a row and year-to-date levels are now two per cent lower than last year.

Covid-19 impacts

COVID-19 Impacts and the Housing Market Quarterly Report Released

City of Calgary, April 27, 2020 – 

Due to COVID-19 impacts in Calgary’s housing market and general economy, it is not business as usual. 

This year was projected to be a time when Calgary would start to see some modest improvements. 

“The uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy industry is expected to cause a dramatic decline in housing demand over the second quarter,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“With social distancing expected to soften by the third quarter, the pace of the decline in sales will ease by the third and fourth quarter. However, a turnaround in sales is not expected by the end of the year, as the financial implications for many households will have lingering effects.” 

At the same time supply levels are also declining, as social distancing measures are causing some households to delay listing their home during the pandemic.  In situations of rising unemployment rates and job loss, we can see rising inventory levels. However, the ability for households to defer their mortgage will help prevent a steeper rise in supply when social distancing measure are relaxed. This will help prevent home prices from collapsing.

However, given the situation in the energy sector, weakness in our economy is expected to persist beyond the immediate impact of COVID-19. On this basis, our housing market is expected to struggle with excess supply and further price declines. On an annual basis, prices in 2020 are expected to decline by nearly three per cent.

Covid-19 weighing on housing market

Media release: COVID-19 weighing on housing market

City of Calgary, April 1, 2020 – 

After a strong start to 2020, economic conditions have dramatically changed, as COVID-19 is impacting all aspects of society. 

The economic impact is starting to be felt across many industries. This includes the housing market.

March sales activity started the month strong, but quickly changed, as concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19 brought about social distancing measures. This had a heavy impact on businesses and employment. 

“This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty coming from both the wide impact of the pandemic and dramatic shift in the energy sector. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

By the end of March, sales activity had fallen 11 per cent compared to last year. This is 37 per cent lower than long-term averages. The drop in sales pushed March levels to the lowest recorded since 1995.

“The impact on the housing market will likely persist over the next several quarters,” said Lurie. “However, measures put in place by the government to help support homeowners through this time of job and income loss will help prevent more significant impacts in the housing market.”

New listings dropped by 19 per cent this month. This decline in new listings compared to sales caused supply levels to ease and helped prevent a larger increase in oversupply. Overall, the months of supply remain just below five months, similar to levels recorded last year.

Prices were already forecasted to ease this year due to oversupply in our market. In March, the citywide benchmark price was $417,400. This is nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels. The reduction in both sales and new listings should help prevent significant price declines in our market. 

However, price declines will likely be higher than originally expected due to the combined impact of the pandemic and energy sector crisis.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Detached sales eased by 15 per cent this month, driven by pullbacks in all districts except the North, which remained flat compared to last year.
  • The decline in sales was met with a larger decline in new listings, causing inventories to fall by 17 per cent and keeping the months of supply slightly lower than last year’s levels. 
  • Detached benchmark prices have remained relatively unchanged compared to last year at $480,800. Price declines this month continue to be the highest for the City Centre, North East and West districts. 

Apartment

  • With 217 citywide apartment sales in March, this was the only category to record a year-over-year gain. Much of the gain was due to improving sales in the South, South East and North West districts.
  • New listings this month did ease, helping support a small decline in inventory levels. 
  • Persistent oversupply has resulted in continued downward pressure on prices. In March, the citywide benchmark price eased by more than two per cent compared to last year for a total of $243,700.

Attached

  • Both semi-detached and row sales declined this month compared to last year. Like the other property types, there was also a significant reduction in new listings.
  • The decline in new listings helped push down inventory levels for both property types, but it was not enough to prevent a rise in the months of supply.
  • However, this segment was oversupplied prior to the recent changes, impacting prices. As of March, prices remained nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels for both semi-detached and row properties.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Like many other areas, Airdrie saw a decline in sales activity, along with a reduction in new listings and inventory. The reductions in supply and demand helped prevent any significant changes to the months of supply.
  • While the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis has not yet played out in the housing market, March prices remained comparable to last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • Both sales and new listings fell this month compared to last year, causing inventories to fall to the lowest levels in five years. Like many other markets, Cochrane remains oversupplied, with easing prices.
  • The March benchmark price was $398,700. This is nearly two per cent lower than the previous year.

Okotoks

  • Trends changed this month, with flat sales and a decline in new listings. The decline in new listings was enough to cause a significant reduction in supply levels and the months of supply fell below five months.
  • Prices are trending down on a monthly basis, but remain comparable to last year’s levels, with a March benchmark price of $405,000.

Home sales see a bump

Media release

City of Calgary, March 2, 2020 – 

This month saw a double-digit gain in sales, but last February was one of the slowest levels of activity since the late ’90s.

With the extra day this February, monthly sales totaled 1,197 units.  A combination of these two factors resulted in a 23 per cent improvement over last year, but sales remain well below longer-term trends and consistent with the lower levels reported over the past five years.

“However, this should not diminish the fact that conditions are still improving,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

“Calgary is continuing to see slow reductions in the amount of oversupply in the market, from modest changes in demand and reductions in supply. This needs to occur before we can see more stability in prices.”

The overall unadjusted benchmark price was $416,900 in February. This is similar to last month, but nearly one per cent below last year’s levels. Overall, prices remain nearly 11 per cent below the monthly high recorded in 2014.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • After the first two months of the year, detached sales improved by nearly 12 per cent. Improvement did not occur across all districts, as sales continued to ease in the City Centre, North East and North West districts.
  • Driven by pullbacks mostly in the south and west districts, new listings declined by one per cent in the city so far this year. 
  • Improving sales and easing new listings helped reduce inventory levels and reduced months of supply to just below four months in February. This is a significant improvement over the more than five months recorded last February. 
  • The benchmark price continued to trend down this month for detached homes, but the pace of decline is easing. Citywide detached prices remain less than one per cent lower than last year’s levels, but price movements vary significantly by district, ranging from a three per cent decline in the City Centre to a two per cent increase in the South district.

Apartment

  • For the second month in a row, improving sales were met with gains in new listings. This is causing inventory gains. 
  • Sales levels were high enough to cause the months of supply to ease, but the persistent oversupply in the market continues to weigh on prices.
  • February benchmark prices eased compared to the previous month and is over two per cent lower than last year’s levels. The overall benchmark apartment price of $244,700 in February is nearly 19 per cent lower than 2014 monthly highs.

Attached

  • After the first two months of the year, rising attached sales and easing new listings caused inventories to decline. 
  • February months of supply is now below five months, an improvement compared to the past two years. 
  • Conditions continue to favour the buyer, but improvements have helped reduce the downward pressure on prices. However, divergent activity continues based on location, as prices declined across most districts, but improved in the West, South East and East districts of the city. 

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • After the first two months of the year rising sales were met with gains in new listings.  However, the improvements in sales outpaced the new listings gain resulting in further inventory declines.  Months of supply have still eased over last year’s levels, but not enough to cause a significant change in price movements.
  • After the first two months of the year, the benchmark price has remained relatively stable compared to last year.

Cochrane

  • Trends in the town remain generally consistent with regional trends. Improving sales were met with some reductions in listings, inventory and the amount of oversupply in the market.
  • The market is showing signs of improvement, but prices continue to remain over two per cent lower than last year.

Okotoks

  • Improving sales in the town were strong enough to offset recent gains in new listings, causing further reductions in inventories and the months of supply. 
  • The elevated levels of supply compared to sales continue to cause prices to trend down. However, at a benchmark price of $409,150 so far this year, prices are just above levels recorded over the first two months of 2019. 

Slight gain in sales

Media release: 2020 opens with a slight gain in sales

City of Calgary, February 3, 2020 – 

Housing market conditions continue to follow similar trends to last year, with gains in sales.

At the same time, there have been further reductions in new listings, inventory and more declines in prices.

January sales activity was 863 units, nearly eight per cent higher than last year’s levels. While sales remained well below January activity recorded before 2014, they remain consistent with activity recorded over the past five years.

“A persistent slowdown in the energy sector has resulted in a reset in many aspects of our economy. This includes the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

“We continue to see the slow adjustment to more balanced conditions, but it will take time before that starts to translate into price stability.”

Citywide unadjusted benchmark prices were $417,100 in January. This is slightly lower than the previous month and nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels. 

Benchmark prices eased, but there were some modest improvements in both the average and median prices. This is likely a reflection of some changes in the distribution of sales.  

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Detached sales in January improved by six per cent, thanks to growth in all districts except the North East. 
  • New listings declined by nearly 11 per cent due to pullbacks in all areas except the City Centre and the North districts. Combined with adjustments in sales, this caused inventories to ease by 15 per cent citywide.
  • Reductions in supply and gains in sales supported reductions in the months of supply from nearly six months last year to just under five months this January. 
  • Detached benchmark prices eased by nearly one per cent compared to last year. However, the only two areas to record notable year-over-year declines were the City Centre and West, with price declines exceeding three per cent.

Apartment

  • Improving sales were met with gains in new listings, causing inventories to increase by 12 per cent compared to last year. 
  • The gain in inventories prevented any significant adjustment in the months of supply, which remained elevated at nine months.
  • The persistent oversupply continued to weigh on benchmark prices, which eased compared to last month and declined by two per cent compared to last year.

Attached

  • Despite slower sales in the South and South east district, city-wide attached sales improved by four per cent.  At the same time new listings eased by nearly 18 per cent, causing inventories to decline by ten per cent.
  • Improving sales and a drop in inventory helped the months of supply to dip below seven months, a significant improvement compared to last year’s level of nearly eight months.
  • While this segment is trending toward more balanced conditions, persistent oversupply continues to weigh on prices, which trended down over the previous month and eased by over one per cent compared to last year’s levels.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Improving sales and easing inventories helped push the months of supply down to 4.7 months. This represents levels that are consistent with longer-term trends and reflects relatively balanced conditions.
  • The improvements in the supply relative to demand have started to generate much more stability in prices, which have remained comparable to last month and slightly higher than last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • January recorded a significant gain in sales and a significant drop in new listings. This resulted in a drop in the months of supply to four months, a significant improvement from the 14 months recorded last January.
  • If the improvements continue, this should start to support price stability. However, the recent change has not yet impacted prices, which remain nearly three per cent lower than last year’s levels.

Okotoks

  • Sales activity in town improved to levels consistent with longer-term trends. The improvement in sales helped offset the slight rise in new listings, helping reduce inventories and bringing the months of supply down to levels more consistent with balanced conditions.
  • The steady reduction in oversupply in this market is helping to generate more stability in prices. In January, benchmark prices remained comparable to levels recorded last year.

You want to list your house for HOW MUCH?

We are in a buyer’s market in Calgary, and it’s been like that for awhile. This essentially means that there are more houses for sale than there are active buyers. When this happens a question you must ask yourself is, “Do you really want to sell?” Your home is no longer yours. It is a show home. You’ll be decluttering, cleaning, polishing, organizing, staging. As you work your tail off, remember this is not an experiment to see if your overpriced home will sell. This is real and everything that needs to be done, should be done to perfection. For example, if you noticed the closet door falling off, so will every person that views the home. What bugged you about the house, will bug them even more, because they have the money.

There comes a point, let’s call this point ‘crucial’ where a seller listens to every drop their experienced REALTOR® tells them. The seller will pay attention to all the data their REALTOR® provides, such as what is currently for sale in the community, and what comparable sold over the past year. When selling, a buyer’s market is not the time to shoot for the stars (not a good idea, the closest star is 4.24 light years away). If you absolutely need to move, you may consider being more aggressive in price.

Let’s say you are totally on track to sell and you price your home appropriately. It’s a little bit less than your competition in the neighbourhood. It is in the realm of possibility that it will sell when compared to other homes that have sold in the vicinity. Statistically and scientifically, this way of pricing should work. It should be getting regular showings. Open houses should be busy. An offer should come in sooner and for more money than if it been had priced it higher. If it sells right away, it’s not because it was priced too low, it’s because it was priced right.

Let’s say though, that the sellers know more than the REALTOR® and all the data provided. If within 14-21 days there has been no interest, this is a big problem. It may be too late. Buyers may think something is wrong with the home or it’s simply overpriced. The seller is upset and blames the REALTOR®, the REALTOR® is frustrated and disappointed with themselves, they knew they shouldn’t have taken the listing.

Most know that since 2014 we have seen a downward trend in sales and price. I’d be delighted to see that change, but it is the current reality. The other issue of over valuing a home is our declining market. If the buyer pays too much, they may not have enough equity to sell it in the future. Also to consider, if the bank does an appraisal on an accepted offer, will it appraise out lower? A lower appraisal may mean that a buyer is unable to secure a mortgage.

The average days on market in Calgary is 59. Realistically, if a seller priced right, the property should sell under that time period. Homes priced UNDER $500,000 had sales grow of 9%. Homes OVER $500,000 saw sales decline by 11% last year. Logic (and data) tells me that pricing a home at $499,900 over $509,900 will shorten days on the market and the sale to list price should increase.

You can successfully sell your home. Trust your REALTOR® and listen to their advice. Price it right. Prepare your home. Wait for an offer.

For sale by owner: bad, bad idea!

You may not pay attention to this, but I do. I notice homes that have a FSBO sign (for sale by owner) plunked on the front lawn. Then if I happen to drive by the house again, I slow down and admire the shiny new REALTOR® sign now found in it’s place. It’s a beautiful sight to see.

Some people choose to sell their own homes. I’ll reiterate, if the bold letters in the title didn’t catch your attention, this is a bad, bad idea! Very bad. Why? There are a number of factors that work against an owner when they decide to sell on their own. To state the obvious, they are not trained real estate professionals. Most have absolutely no idea what they are getting into. They just think they’re saving money by not using a REALTOR®. Faced with a choice, and a comparable property, would a buyer rather rely on the skills of a REALTOR® or would they rather deal with a homeowner that lacks the knowledge to successfully navigate a real estate transaction? An experienced real estate professional knows the challenges of real estate and they know how to work through them. In fact, they know a lot of stuff!

A REALTOR® knows how to price a home. They have data and statistics that will support the right price, right at the beginning. An overpriced home can sit for months on the market, wasting the owner’s money and time. Get the price wrong, and out comes the FSBO sign and the cobwebs that cling to it.

What about all the costs associated with selling to sell a home. Let’s consider some of them. They can include advertising, marketing material, signs, staging, professional photographer/certified measurement company, the time showing the property and hosting open houses, the entries on social media/updating/understanding algorithms. What about making sure the buyer is qualified. Is an owner concerned if a buyer (likely unqualified) comes into the house and just happens to be a psychopath. (It’s been known to happen). Are the homeowners qualified to negotiate, do they know what is legally required of them, and are they able to complete all legal documents. What are conveyance documents and how are these prepared for the lawyers?

In a report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in 2014, over 90% of home buyers begin their search online. Realtor.ca is the most widely used site and is operated by Canadian Real Estate Association. Most FSBO owners do not have their listing on MLS/Realtor.ca. If they do, it’s because they paid a fee to a brokerage. Whether the house sells or doesn’t, that fee, which can be quite substantial, is non refundable. Unlike with a REALTOR®, we are not paid until the house sells. We are paid for success.

I talked to one couple who said they were going to put a for sale sign on their lawn to see what would happen. Apparently from there, osmosis would take over. Nothing happened. No calls, no knock on the door, and not one psychopath. What some FSBO fail to realize is if they do not pay full commission to the buyer’s agent, this gives zero incentive to that agent to even show the house. This already eliminated a number of potential buyers.

Gone are the days when the kids were loaded in back of the station wagon and driven around neighbourhoods so that their parents could scout out ‘House for sale’ signs. People shop for houses now like they would a food processor, in their living room, iPhone in one hand and a glass wine in the other.

A real estate professional works for free until the house is sold. Not a cent is paid in commission until the deal closes. So, their motivation is to quickly sell the property at the highest price possible. I’d say that’s a pretty good incentive. Along with this they provide, also for free, advertising, photographs, documents, their time and a plethora of other tried and true marketing ideas.

In addition to saving the homeowner money, time and hassle, a REALTOR@ will have errors and omission insurance, to limit liability issues. Each professional is a mandatory member of many associations, these are in place, in part, to protect the consumer and enhance their experience. These include REIX (errors and omission insurance); AREA (professional development); CREA (represents the members to the federal government); RECA (sets standards to protect consumers); CREB (advocates for its members). The owner of a FSBO is not represented by any of these organizations. They have no error and omission insurance, and expose themselves to a number of litigious situations. There is no one to fix their problem or be their advocate should a deal go sideways.

Likely you’ve watched TV shows where a couple decides a ‘do-it-yourself’ is going to be fun! They’ll save money and time, they can get it done during their vacation. Everything is planned to a tee. I love these shows because I wait for the most crucial moment of the DIY. This is when the TV camera swings over to one of them crying while the other stands under a cement mixer. Initially though, it’s quite hopeful. They dawn colourful hard hats and t-shirts with a cheerful message. They truly believe the process is going to be easy. YOU TUBE will help them if they get stuck (and likely the production team). As the episodes progress it becomes clearer and clearer that they are heading for a divorce. They’re $80,000 over their budget, they’ve made little progress and short of blowing up the home, they realize this was a bad, bad idea and they are stuck. Not even HGTV or Oprah can help them.

A DYI is basically a different acronym for FSBO. It’s a ‘do it yourself for sale by owner’. Like a DIY, a homeowner can start off optimistic, absolutely sure they can get the house sold. How hard can it be? Most often, they lose money, lose time, and a little bit of their sanity. It’s just not worth it when there is a better and more logical solution, you guessed it, it’s ME! a full-time, full-service boutique REALTOR®.

The market still favours the buyer

Media release: Calgary housing market still favours the buyer 

City of Calgary, December 2, 2019 – Year-to-date residential sales in the city remain just above last year’s levels due to improvements in the attached sector so far this year.

However, November sales activity eased over last year’s levels, mostly due to pullbacks in the apartment sector. 

Meanwhile, new listings eased enough relative to sales to cause inventories to ease and the amount of oversupply to come down slightly compared to last year’s levels.

“Achieving more stable conditions will take time. Sales activity has been settling in at lower levels and is likely being influenced by the economic conditions and uncertainty weighing on our market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

“While the amount of supply in the market continues to ease, the persistent oversupply continues to weigh on prices.”

As of November, the citywide unadjusted benchmark price was $419,100. This is just below last month’s levels and two per cent lower than last year’s levels. 

Market conditions continue to vary depending on price, location and product type. For example, prices have ranged from a year-to-date decline of nearly eight per cent for row product in the East district to a two per cent increase for semi-detached product in the North district.

Larger price declines are often caused by high supply in the new-home and resale markets relative to demand.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Detached sales improved in November over last year’s levels, mostly due to growth in the $400,000 – $500,000 range. However, sales in November and overall activity remain low by historical standards.
  • Despite some recent gains in sales activity, year-to-date sales remain comparable to last year’s levels and 20 per cent below longer-term trends. However, detached sales have improved in both the North West and South districts this year.
  • Improving sales, combined with further declines in new listings, helped reduce inventories in this sector compared to levels recorded last year. However, supply levels remained elevated based on seasonal comparisons.
  • Like some of the other sectors, the detached market is slowly moving toward more balanced conditions. However, it is still oversupplied, and this trend continues to weigh on prices.
  • The detached unadjusted benchmark price was $481,500 in November, slightly lower than last month’s levels and two per cent below last year’s prices. 

Apartment

  • Apartment sales pulled back this month, causing year-to-date sales to remain comparable to last year’s levels and 21 per cent below long-term averages. 
  • The monthly decline in sales was mostly driven by pullbacks in the City Centre, North West and South East districts. However, on a year-to-date basis, sales activity improved in the North, West and South East districts.
  • New listings rose across most districts, causing city-wide inventory gains this month. Much of the gains were a result of a rise in new-home listings filtering into the resale market. Despite the monthly shift, year-to-date new listings and inventories remain lower than last year’s levels.
  • Weaker sales, combined with rising inventories, pushed November months of supply to over seven months. This is higher than last year’s levels of more than five months. 
  • Persistent oversupply in this sector caused prices to ease. The year-to-date benchmark price declined by more than two per cent.

Attached

  • Year-to-date sales remain more than six per cent higher than last year’s levels and just below long-term averages.
  • New listings eased this month compared to last year and sales improved.  Inventories continue to ease from the monthly highs recorded last year. While the attached market remains oversupplied, the market continues to improve over last year’s levels.
  • November semi-detached prices eased by two per cent compared to last year. The largest year-over-year declines occurred in the City Centre district. 
  • Row prices eased by nearly four per cent compared to last year. Annual declines ranged from more than seven per cent in the North East district to nearly two per cent in the North West and East districts.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Sales activity continue to improve in November compared to last year. This caused year-to-date sales to rise to 1,146 units, an increase over last year and consistent with long-term averages. 
  • The rise in sales continued to be met with a pullback in new listings, resulting in inventory declines. This helped reduce the months of supply and November levels are much closer to balanced conditions.
  • Easing oversupply has helped reduce the downward pressure on prices this month. However, it was not enough to offset earlier declines. The year-to-date benchmark price in Airdrie was $332,345, three per cent below last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • November sales eased compared to the previous year, but it was not enough to offset earlier gains, as year-to-date sales remained just above last year’s levels. 
  • The notable adjustment this month was in new listings, which eased enough to offset any declines in sales. This caused further inventory reductions compared to last year. While the months of supply did not shift much this month, year-to-date levels have eased from the previous year and remain just above longer-term averages.
  • Despite supply reductions, the market remains oversupplied, which continues to weigh on prices. In November, prices the benchmark price was $394,200, lower than last month and more than four per cent below last year’s levels.

Okotoks

  • November sales continued to improve over the low levels of activity recorded last year. The steady gains have caused year-to-date sales to rise above last year’s levels but remain below longer-term averages.
  • Inventory levels have also been easing, thanks to a rise in sales and reduction in new listings. While the market remains oversupplied, these adjustments are supporting moves toward more balanced conditions.
  • Prices in this market have been slower to adjust. In November, the unadjusted benchmark price was $412,100, lower than last month and over two per cent lower than last year. 

Signs of improvement

Media release: Homes under $500,000 moving to more balanced conditions

City of Calgary, November 1, 2019 – Sales activity in October improved by nearly 10 per cent compared to last year, driven mostly by improvements for apartment and attached product.

New listings also eased, which helped reduce inventory levels and the oversupply in the market. Despite the move to more balanced conditions, the market remains oversupplied and prices continue to remain below last year’s levels.

“Employment has shifted in the city, with job growth occurring in our non-traditional sectors and often at a different pay scale. This is consistent with the shift to more affordable housing product,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. 

“However, at the higher end of the market the amount of oversupply is rising, as supply cannot shift enough to compensate for the reductions in demand. This is likely causing divergent trends in pricing and preventing prices from stabilizing across the city.” 

This is a market where signs of improvement are not consistent across all product types and price ranges. Improvements in sales are occurring in the lower price ranges across all product types. This is not yet translating into price shifts, as persistently elevated supply levels continue to place downward pressure on prices. 

As of October, citywide unadjusted benchmark prices were $422,900, just below last month’s levels and two per cent lower than last year’s levels. 

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Sales activity this month came in just above last year’s levels, thanks to growth in all districts except the North East and North. However, year-to-date citywide levels remain comparable to last year’s levels and over 19 per cent lower than longer-term trends. 
  • New listings continued to ease this month, but at a slower pace than levels recorded over the past eight months.
  • Improvements in sales and easing new listings brought down inventory levels by 15 per cent. With 3,391 units in inventory, the months of supply is just under four months. This is a decline compared to last year, but it is still high based on longer-term trends. Months of supply eased across all districts except the North, likely due to the increased pressure coming from the new-home sector. 
  • Unadjusted benchmark prices eased over the previous month due to declines in all districts except the South East and East. Overall, prices in October remained nearly two per cent lower than last year’s levels and nearly eight per cent lower than previous highs.

Apartment

  • Apartment sales continued to improve this month and new listings eased. This helped reduce inventory levels and brought the months of supply down just under 6 months.  Despite improvements, the market remained firmly in buyers’ territory. 
  • Year-to-date improvements in sales were driven by gains in the North, West and South East sectors. 
    Inventory declines have occurred in all districts except the South East.
  • Overall, year-to-date prices remained over two per cent lower than last year’s levels and nearly 17 per cent lower than peak pricing. However, there are some signs of stabilization in prices this year, with prices in the North East, South East and East remaining comparable to last year. 

Attached

  • The attached market continues to show the largest increase in sales, with year-to-date growth of nearly seven per cent. Improvements occurred across all districts except for the North West and North East. 
  • New listings have eased by eight per cent so far this year, causing inventory declines and reductions in the amount of oversupply.
  • Like most sectors, this segment remains oversupplied, which is causing price adjustments. As of October, semi-detached and row prices remained two and four per cent lower than last year’s levels, respectively. Prices continue to ease across nearly all districts and remain well below previous highs.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Apartment, row and semi-detached sales activity improved over the previous year, pushing total year-to-date sales up by three per cent, which is just below longer-term averages.
  • New listings have eased to the lowest levels recorded over the past five years, helping reduce inventory and the months of supply to levels lower than the previous year. 
  • The improvements are helping reduce downward pressure on prices, but it is not enough to erase previous declines. Overall, year-to-date average benchmark prices remain over three per cent lower than last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • Further gains in October contributed to a three per cent year-to-date increase in sales. An 11 per cent pullback in new listings caused supply to ease and the months of supply to fall. 
  • The reductions in the amount of oversupply are not influencing monthly price movements yet.  Like most other municipalities, benchmark prices remain over three per cent lower than last year’s levels and well below previous highs.

Okotoks

  • Following a sharp pullback in sales activity last year, sales activity continued to recover this month. This caused year-to-date sales to improve to levels just below what was recorded post recession. 
  • New listings continue to ease, helping lower the inventory in the market and bringing the months of supply to just under five months. This is an improvement of nearly six months from last year’s levels. 
  • With less oversupply in the market, we are starting to see some easing of the downward pressure on prices. Overall, year-to-date benchmark prices were $410,090. This is four per cent lower than last year’s levels.

Shifting to stability

CREB Media release: Shifting to stability

City of Calgary, October 1, 2019 – For the third consecutive month, sales activity improved over last year’s figures, and year-over-year new listings and inventories eased. This trend will help support more stability in the housing market.

“Price declines have likely brought some buyers back into the market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, noting improvements in the market continue to be driven by homes priced below $500,000.

In the condominium apartment market, sales improved by 16 per cent this month. This represents the segment’s best September since 2015.  Year-to-date growth in both the attached and apartment sector were enough to offset the modest decline in the detached sector resulting in year-to-date sales growth of nearly one per cent in the city. 

Despite improving sales and reductions in inventory, the overall market remains oversupplied. This continues to weigh on prices.

“While housing demand is modestly improving, sales activity remains relatively weak,” said Lurie. “The market is moving toward more stable conditions, but this is mostly related to supply adjustments in the city.”    

September inventory levels are still elevated at 6,889 units, but this figure represents a decline of 13 per cent compared to last year. The months of supply in the Calgary market currently sits at five months. These conditions continue to favour the buyer, but not to the same degree seen at this time last year.

September’s citywide unadjusted benchmark price of $424,900 is two per cent lower than last year’s levels.

HOUSING MARKET FACTS

Detached

  • Improvements in sales over the past three months were not enough to offset pullbacks that occurred earlier in the year, as year-to-date sales remain nearly one per cent lower than last year’s levels. Despite citywide declines, sales improved in both the North West and South districts, thanks to significant gains in sales of homes priced below $500,000.
  • The months of supply remains elevated at over four months, although this is an improvement compared to the same time last year.
  • Benchmark prices in September ranged from a year-over-year decline of more than four per cent in the South district to general stability in the North East, North and West districts.

Apartment

  • Sales improved by 16 per cent this month, making it the best September recorded in the past three years. Despite recent improvements in sales, year-to-date levels remain stable compared to last year, but well below longer-term trends.
  • Condominium apartment sales were varied across the city. Significant growth was reported in the North and South East districts. Both districts have seen significant new-home development which could be influencing resale activity.
  • Oversupply continues to weigh on prices in this segment, as unadjusted prices remain 17 per cent below 2014 highs.

Attached

  • Sales increases for both semi-detached and row product have improved year-to-date attached sales by more than five per cent compared to last year. It is the only product type that has recorded significant gains year-over-year.
  • New listings continue to ease, reducing inventory and the months of supply. 
  • Despite some annual reductions in the months of supply, buyers’ market conditions persist and prices continue to ease. Year-to-date benchmark price declines ranged from a high of nearly six per cent in the City Centre to a low of three per cent in the North East.

REGIONAL MARKET FACTS

Airdrie

  • Conditions in the resale market continue to show signs of growth. Sales activity improved in September, pushing year-to-date sales up by nearly three per cent. New listings eased, which helped reduce inventory in the market.
  • The market remains slightly oversupplied, but the months of supply is edging down from last year’s high levels. This is supporting more stability in monthly price movements. As of September, the unadjusted benchmark price was nearly two per cent lower than last year’s levels.

Cochrane

  • Sales in the area continue to improve and year-to-date levels remain the third-highest on record. The area faces fewer challenges with demand than the Calgary market, but elevated inventories continue to weigh on prices.
  • Inventories are starting to trend down. If this continues, the market should move into more balanced conditions and, eventually, support some price stability.

Okotoks

  • Sales activity continues to recover from the low levels recorded last year. Improving sales and easing new listings are causing year-over-year inventory declines and reducing oversupply in the market.
  • The market has been trending into balanced conditions, but prices have been slow to react.  Year-to-date benchmark prices remain just over four per cent lower than last year’s levels.