Coronavirus outbreak to exert downward pressure on Alberta housing

by Ephraim Vecina on 29 Apr 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the already-battered Alberta housing segment will persist over the next few quarters, according to the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA).

“This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA chief economist.

Alberta’s average home price was $371,022 last month, having declined by 2.64% annually. The number of new listings dropped by 14.54%, while the stock of homes available in the market contracted by 5.76%.

Provincial sales fell by 8.5% during the same time frame. Activity in Calgary and Edmonton shrunk by roughly 10% and 3%, respectively.

These observations were supported by recent Q1 figures from Royal LePage, which found that Calgary had nearly flat housing prices (0.1% annual drop to $469,156), while Edmonton suffered a notable decline (1.4% year-over-year to $371,118).

Fortunately, the market will have considerable support despite the mobility restrictions associated with the anti-coronavirus policies currently in force.

“Measures put in place by the government and lending institutions to help support home owners through this time of job and income loss will prevent more significant impacts in the housing market,” Lurie said.

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