by Ross PAVL
on Monday, October 5th, 2015 at 2:30pm.
Calgary Home Prices Unchanged Despite Higher Inventory Levels and Lower Sales
The Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB®) September 2015 Calgary Regional Housing Market Statistics for the City of Calgary confirmed that the Benchmark Price for Total Residential (detached, attached & apartment homes) dropped to $456,100 from $456,300 the previous month and $457,300 in September 2014. The most recent high Benchmark Prices of $459,900, in November 2014 and $459,100 in January 2015, continue to reinforce overall balanced market conditions and that no market crash is imminent. Even the median price has remained relatively stable over the past year and now sits at $425,000 - exactly the same as in September 2014. Continued job losses and unfavourable economic news from the oil patch are putting pressure on the Calgary real estate market, yet Calgary home prices continue to remain relatively unchanged through this latest downturn in the Alberta energy sector.
City of Calgary Real Estate Market Stats for September 2015:
New Listings were down 4.9% - to 3,061 from 3,239 in September 2014.
Sales were down 32% - 1,448 units compared to 2,141 in September 2014.
Days on the market increased to 40 compared to 36 in September 2014.
Inventory levels rose to 5,526 units (covering all 3 housing types: detached, attached & apartment homes), up from 4,559 in September 2014. This is still well below the record high level of over 6,900 units in February 2008.
Overall supply levels were 3.82 months of inventory (compared to 2.13 in September 2014) - this is up substantially and still within a balanced market but with a trend of leaning towards a buyer's market.
The most critical statistic for the month was the number of New Listings and Total Inventory which is typically the highest in the spring months of April, May and June. July and August of 2015 showed a reduction of new listings but that trend was reversed in September 2015 when new listings hit 3,081 units, up from 2,734 the previous month. Sellers that had been sitting on the sidelines for part or all of 2015 decided to try sell their property in the fall market. As a result, total inventory levels shot up to 5,526 in September 2015, consistent with the higher inventory levels seen in the spring.
CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie commented on this by saying: “Overall sales activity relative to new listings caused a softening in absorption rates, which resulted in inventory gains and ultimately placed moderate downward pressure on pricing.” The statistics indicated that all property types had a drop in their sales-to-new-listings ratio but the apartment and attached categories showed the highest declines.
She also noted that "Elevated inventory levels in the apartment segment, in particular, are the result of moderate listing declines relative to sales activity," and added the following, "Recent activity reflects current economic conditions, unlike earlier this year when consumers were reacting to uncertainty."
The chart below highlights all of the Calgary real estate market activity for 2015 (total residential = detached, attached and apartment housing types) and allows a month-to-month comparison as well as a year-over-year comparison with 2014.
City of Calgary 2015 Total Residential Summary Chart
CREB® president Corinne Lyall commented on this month's statistics by saying:
“While the apartment sector now favours buyers with added selection and attractive pricing, other factors will continue to play into purchase decisions. Citywide inventory levels remain elevated compared to activity seen in the past three years, but they are still well below highs recorded during the previous economic downturn in 2008 and 2009.”
She also added that, "Aggregate prices have eased by one per cent from the beginning of the year, a moderate correction when compared against the aggressive gains last year that averaged more than nine per cent."
The Benchmark Price is the best indicator of price changes and trends since it tracks similar properties over time. Median Price is also a better indicator than the Average Price as it follows the Benchmark Price more closely. To put historical Calgary house prices in perspective, compare the three price types over the past 10 years for Total Residential in the chart below.
The City of Calgary detached home category accounted for the most sales of all 3 housing types and had the lowest decline in September 2015 at 25.92% as indicated in the chart below. It also had the lowest decline in sales for 2015 Year-To-Date at 23.39%. The attached home and apartment categories had the highest drops in sales for September 2015 - both over 40%.
The Benchmark Price for all 3 housing types has remained stable for 2015 when compared to Year-To-Date figures from 2014, further proof that a market crash has been averted and that the overall market is stabilizing. In fact the attached category posted a 2.87% gain for this time period.
Here's the breakdown of how the different segments in the Calgary real estate market performed year-to-date for Sept 2015. Please focus in on the market segment that applies to you to see what transpired in September.
Breakdown of Calgary Detached, Attached & Apartment Statistics
Focusing on detached home sales, the chart below highlights all the price categories where Calgary real estate sales are taking place. The bulk of sales occurred in the affordability range (highlighted in red), between $350,000 to $600,000, representing 70% of all sales so far in 2015. Based on September 2015 and year-to-date totals, every price category had less sales in 2015 compared to last year. The Median Price for detached homes in Calgary for September 2015 was $517,200 - close to the middle of where 70% of of YTD2015 sales have taken place.
Notice how the trend for Calgary Luxury Homes ($1,000,000 and over price categories) sold Year-To-Date 2015 are down significantly compared to the lower price point categories - off as much as 62% and 71% from YTD2014.
Calgary Total Detached Home Sales by Price Category
These overall Calgary real estate statistics help shed light on where the Calgary real estate market is so far this year. If you have questions about the market in your community or about your type of residential home (detached, attached or apartment), we'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.