December sales improved to levels more consistent with activity recorded over the past five years. This follows weak sales activity last year. A stronger second half in 2019 was enough to push annual sales up by one per cent.
“Price declines, lower mortgage rates and some modest improvements in full-time employment helped support some demand growth in the city. Reductions in supply are also contributing to the slow adjustment to more stable conditions in the housing market,” said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “As oversupply in the market continues to ease, we should start to see more stabilization in prices. However, conditions continue to favour the buyer and this is weighing on prices.”
Overall prices in 2019 declined by three per cent over last year’s levels. The total adjustment in prices is a 10 per cent decline since the 2014 slowdown in the energy sector.
HOUSING MARKET FACTS
- Improving sales in the second-half of the year helped offset earlier declines. This resulted in detached sales that are relatively unchanged from 2018 levels.
- While city wide levels remained stable, homes priced under $500,000 recorded sales growth of nearly nine per cent. However, sales declined by 11 per cent for homes priced over $500,000.
- Detached benchmark prices were $480,100 in December contributing to the 2019 average of $484,808, three per cent below last year’s levels.
- Stronger apartment style sales in December were enough to push annual levels to 2,672 units. This is just above last year’s levels.
- New listings continue to ease across all districts except the South East. This district has seen a rise in new home construction and is likely contributing to some of the rise in new listings and inventory.
- Reductions in oversupply helped ease the rate of decline in resale apartment condominium prices. However, prices in December remained one per cent below last years levels.
- The attached segment of the market has seen the largest improvements in sales when compared to the other product types. Annual sales improved by nearly seven per cent for a total of 3,780 sales.
- Both row and semi-detached product recorded improving sales with easing new listings and inventories.
- December semi-detached prices were $388,200 and row prices were $283,000. Both segments saw annual price declines in excess of three per cent and remain well below previous highs.
REGIONAL MARKET FACTS
Airdrie – Improving sales over the past three quarters more than offset declines in the first quarter. This resulted in 2019 sales of 1,193 units and is four per cent higher than the previous year. The reduction in the oversupply has helped support slower declines in prices, but prices remain nearly three per cent below last years levels.
Cochrane – The pace of sales growth did slow in the third quarter, but sales activity for the year improved by three per cent. Prices continue to ease in the market as competition from the new home market has likely weighed on resale prices. In 2019, benchmark prices averaged $403,250, nearly four per cent below last years levels.
Okotoks – Strong sales throughout most of the second half of the year offset earlier pullback and resulted in sales growth of ten per cent. On an annual basis, prices remain nearly four per cent below last years levels, and over five per cent below previous highs.
The Calgary Real Estate Board will be hosting The CREB® 2020 Forecast Conference & Tradeshow on Jan. 14, 2020. At this tradeshow, they will release their expectations for the real estate market in Calgary and area for the year ahead. My next blog post will include the details from the conference.
If you have any questions about Real Estate in Calgary and area, please contact me today!