Calgary ended the year with weaker sales, prices

Weakness continued in the Calgary real estate market in December with sales and prices both in decline.

Sales were down 21% year-over-year to 794 units with the year-to-date sales of 16,144 units down 14% year-over-year and almost 20% below long-term averages.

Prices fell 1% month-over-month and 3% year-over-year.

“Persistent weakness in the job market and changes in the lending market impacted sales activity in the resale market this year,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

Along with labour market and mortgage lending challenges, the Calgary market remains oversupplied.

Inventory levels in December of 4,904 units was well above levels recorded in 2017 and 30% above typical levels for the month. Elevated resale inventories in 2018 were caused by gains in the detached and attached sectors.

“Both buyers and sellers faced adjustments in expectations this year. Sellers had to compete with more choice in the resale market, but also the new-home market,” said CREB president Tom Westcott.

Stats by property type

Detached

  • Detached sales declined across all districts in 2018. With citywide sales of 9,945 units, activity remains 21% below typical levels for the year.
  • Detached inventories were higher than last year’s levels for each month of the year, including December. Slow sales caused the market to be oversupplied through most of 2018.
  • Detached benchmark prices totalled $481,400 in December, a 1% decline over last month and a three per cent decline over last year. Overall, 2018 prices declined by 1.5% compared to last year.
  • Prices have eased across most districts in 2018. The largest declines this year have occurred in the North East, North West and North districts.

Apartment

  • Apartment sales totalled 2,663 units in 2018. While the decline is less than other product types, levels are 22% below long-term averages.
  • The apartment condominium sector has struggled with oversupply for almost three years and 2018 was no exception.
  • However, supply has been easing, as inventories this year averaged 1,584 units, 1% below last year’s levels.
  • Despite slowing supply growth, the market remained oversupplied, causing further price declines. In December, benchmark prices were $251,500, over 2% below last year. Annually, prices have declined by nearly 3% for a total decline of 14% since 2014.
  • Price declines this year have ranged from a high of nearly 6% in the East district to a low of 2% in both the City Centre and North West districts.

Attached

  • Declines for both row and semi-detached product resulted in 2018 attached sales of 3,536 units, a 15% decline over the previous year and 14% below long-term averages.
  • Slower sales activity prompted some pull-back in new listings, but this was limited to the row sector. Row new listings declined by 4% and semi-detached new listings rose by nearly 15%  in 2018.
  • Despite some adjustments to new listings, inventory levels remained elevated, keeping the market in buyers’ market territory and putting downward pressure on prices.
  • In December, the semi-detached benchmark price totalled $397,500. This is a monthly and year-over-year decline of 0.8% and 3.8%, respectively. Recent price declines have caused this sector to erase any of the gains that occurred last year, as 2018 prices remain just below 2017 levels. Overall, annual prices remain 1.4% below 2014 peak levels.
  • Row prices have also been edging down. As of December, row prices were $288,400, a 1.5% decline from last month and nearly 4% below last year’s levels. Overall, 2018 prices remain 2% below last year’s levels and nearly 10% below previous highs.

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