It’s a streak the Calgary housing market hasn’t seen in some time.
September was the third consecutive month that sales on the MLS System increased on a year-over-year basis, plus new listings decreased. Inventory declined slightly, but is still above the long-term average.
It’s a sign of stability returning to the market, but there’s a downside for sellers, says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist at the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
“Price declines have likely brought some buyers back into the market,” says Lurie, adding improvements in the market continue to be driven by homes priced below $500,000.
The apartment sector was the biggest winner in September, says Lurie.
“In the condominium apartment market, sales improved by 16 percent. This represents the segment’s best September since 2015,” she says. “Year-to-date, growth in both the attached and apartment sector was enough to offset the modest decline in the detached sector, resulting in year-to-date sales growth of nearly one percent in the city.”
Inventory is putting downward pressure on selling prices.
“While housing demand is modestly improving, sales activity remains relatively weak,” says 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 represents a decline of 13 percent from 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 was $424,900, two percent lower than last September.
Here are Lurie’s takes on the market by sector in September.
• 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 percent lower than last year’s levels. Despite citywide declines, sales improved in both the northwest and south districts, thanks to significant gains in sales of homes priced below $500,000.
• Benchmark prices ranged from a year-over-year decline of more than four percent in the south district to general stability in the northeast, north and west districts.
• Sales improved by 16 percent in September, the best in the past three years. However, year-to-date sales remain stable compared to last year.
• Sales were varied across the city, with significant growth in the north and southeast districts, both of which have seen significant new home development, which could be influencing resale activity.
• Year-to-date attached sales have improved by more than five percent 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.
• Buyers’ market conditions persist and prices continue to ease. Year-to-date benchmark price declines ranged from a high of nearly six percent in the city centre to a low of three percent in the northeast.