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Improvement for Calgary sales but there's more growth needed

by Steve Randall on 03 Mar 2020

Home sales continue to improve in the Calgary market but there is some way to go before a more normal level of activity returns.

The Calgary Real Estate Board reported a positive month for February with a total 1,197 units sold in the city, helped by the extra day. This was a 23% increase year-over-year.

But the figure lags longer term trends and the annual increase should be taken in context of the particularly weak results of February 2019 which were among the slowest since the 1990s.

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said that despite the weakness, conditions are improving.

“Calgary is continuing to see slow reductions in the amount of oversupply in the market, from modest changes in demand and reductions in supply. This needs to occur before we can see more stability in prices,” she said.

Prices saw little movement, with the unadjusted benchmark of $416,900 in line with January and down almost 1% year-over-year.

Stats by property type
Detached

  • After the first two months of the year, detached sales improved by nearly 12%. Improvement did not occur across all districts, as sales continued to ease in the City Centre, North East and North West districts.
  • Driven by pullbacks mostly in the south and west districts, new listings declined by 1% in the city so far this year.
  • Improving sales and easing new listings helped reduce inventory levels and reduced months of supply to just below four months in February. This is a significant improvement over the more than five months recorded last February.
  • The benchmark price continued to trend down this month for detached homes, but the pace of decline is easing. Citywide detached prices remain less than 1% lower than last year’s levels, but price movements vary significantly by district, ranging from a 3% decline in the City Centre to a 2% increase in the South district.

Apartment

  • For the second month in a row, improving sales were met with gains in new listings. This is causing inventory gains.
  • Sales levels were high enough to cause the months of supply to ease, but the persistent oversupply in the market continues to weigh on prices.
  • February benchmark prices eased compared to the previous month and is over two per cent lower than last year’s levels. The overall benchmark apartment price of $244,700 in February is nearly 19% lower than 2014 monthly highs.

Attached

  • After the first two months of the year, rising attached sales and easing new listings caused inventories to decline.
  • February months of supply is now below five months, an improvement compared to the past two years.
  • Conditions continue to favour the buyer, but improvements have helped reduce the downward pressure on prices. However, divergent activity continues based on location, as prices declined across most districts, but improved in the West, South East and East districts of the city.



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