Slow September sales in Calgary close out third quarter
September was another deflating month for Calgary’s resale homes market, with a decline in sales in each of the three sectors — single-family, attached and apartments.
Sales on the MLS System in Calgary were 1,273 homes, down 14 percent from September 2017 as the perfect storm continues to lash the market.
“Calgary’s economy continues to struggle with unemployment, which rose again last month to over eight percent. Concerns in the employment market, higher lending rates and shaken confidence are weighing on housing demand,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB). “At the same time, supply levels continue to remain high, resulting in per- sistent oversupply and price declines.”
The total inventory at the end of September was 7,941 homes, resulting in months of supply rising to 6.25, and putting the market firmly in the hands of buyers.
The single-family sector saw a 24 percent year-overyear rise in inventory, while the attached sector inventory rose 23 percent.
However, the apartment sector saw inventory fall by nine percent.
The oversupply is also putting downward pressure on prices, with the unadjusted city-wide benchmark price declining three percent last year to $428,700.
By sector, the single-family benchmark price was $493,100, down three percent; the apartment benchmark declined three p e rcent to $257,200; the attached sector came in at $324,700, also a drop of three percent.
“This is the new normal of Calgary’s real estate,” said CREB president Tom Westcott. “Some potential buyers may want to take advantage of the market conditions, but they face difficulties selling their existing home based on their expectations. This prevents them from purchasing something else.”
Even with the drop in September sales, third-quarter figures generally point towards a slower decline in sales and some easing in new listings growth, but not enough to impact inventory levels in the quarter.
The Calgary economy continues to struggle, but there might be some signs of potential improvements in the future with a decrease in vacancies in the rental market, which could contribute to a slow reduction in overall housing supply.
There have been an increasing number of signs like this one in the Calgary area. Total inventory at the end of September was 7,941 homes, with 6.25 months of supply.