2018 to become one of the Calgary market's sore spots

by Ephraim Vecina03 Jan 2019

End-of-2018 data from the Calgary Real Estate Board pointed at a year characterized by unusual weakness.

The numbers showed that overall residential sales in 2018 shrunk by 14.5% compared to 2017, a development that was exacerbated by the significant 21% year-over-year decline in December’s sales.

Benchmark prices also went down by 1.5% in 2018, and 3.4% annually in December.

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said that these results are a natural outgrowth of the provinces multiple struggles during the year, including subpar job growth, a lack of pipelines, multiple interest rate hikes, and stricter mortgage qualification requirements.

“[The recovery] was supposed to be driven by economic improvements, which we just didn’t have,” Lurie told Global News. “In fact, we just had more troubles happening in the latter part of the year.”

Read more: Global oil price weakness is hurting Alberta, but…

Weaker employment numbers also exerted pressure upon the city’s home sales activity.

“Job growth in this city remains a concern, as unemployment levels remain well above levels expected for this year. Rising costs of ownership also continue to weigh on housing demand,” Lurie said in November.

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