Calgary-area residential real estate marks drooping prices and plenty of choice

December continued the trend of slowing sales and falling prices, which dominated Calgary’s resale housing market for much of the year.

“Nothing changed in December, which is traditionally a lower active month, and the trends in every area were consistent with the rest of the year,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, chief economist with the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Sales for the month were down 21 per cent from the same month in 2017. And for all of 2018, sales were down 14 per cent compared with the previous year.

Lurie points to ongoing challenges depressing both sales and prices. These factors include high unemployment, lacklustre job growth in good-paying jobs, and high inventories for new homes and resales. As well, rising interest rates and tightening lending rules hampered demand for homes.

As for the numbers, 794 units sold in December. And for all of 2018, a total of 16,144 units, including detached, semi-detached and apartment-style homes, sold in the Calgary region.

That annual figure is 20 per cent below the long-term average, Lurie adds.

Prices also declined across all product types. Citywide figures were nine per cent below the monthly highs recorded in 2014.

The detached market saw the smallest decline for the month, and the year. The benchmark resale price was $481,400. That’s one per cent less than November; and three per cent less year-over-year for December. And for all of 2018, prices were 1.5 per cent less than 2017.

For apartments, the benchmark for resales was $251,500 — about two per cent less than last year, and 14 per cent below the high watermark in 2014. Yet price drops varied significantly by district from a six per cent decrease year over year in the east to two per cent in the city centre and northwest districts.

One reason for lower price declines in some areas is because less new development has taken place, Lurie notes.
For semi-detached, the benchmark price was $397,500 for December, down 0.8 from November and 3.8 per cent less compared with the same month in 2017. Overall, prices for 2018 were down about 1.5 per cent for all of 2017.

Row housing prices also trended downward with December benchmark resale prices coming in at $288,400. That’s a 1.5 per cent drop from November and nearly four per cent below December 2017. For the whole year, prices remain two per cent below 2017 levels.

Although a tough seller’s market, these conditions may bode well for buyers, Lurie adds.

“The nice thing we have with the market right now, as a buyer, is we do have supply choice.”

Yet finding a good deal is dependent on what type of product buyers want and where in the city they’re looking. In fact, those looking for an affordable home may actually find it challenging to find a bargain in the current marketplace, she says.

“If you’re looking for more affordable detached homes, there’s just not a lot of them, so the price adjustment may not be where people think it is.”

From the Calgary Herald –

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