Apartments and attached housing lead decline as Calgary home sales drop for 21st straight month

While Calgary home sales were down year-over-year for a 21st consecutive month in August, with the biggest pains felt in the condo apartment and attached categories, according to the latest report from the Calgary Real Estate Board.

Overall, home sales were down 4.6 per cent from August 2015, while the number of new and active listings climbed. Sales of detached sales were down just 1.4 per cent, while apartment sales dropped five per cent and attached sales were down 12.8 per cent.

“While overall sales have eased for detached homes, so too has the amount of new listings on the market preventing inventories from reaching previous highs and limiting the downward pressure on pricing,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, in the report.  “This is not the case in both the attached and apartment sectors which have recorded inventory levels near August highs.”

The benchmark price in Calgary — the price for a typical home in the city — was down 4.2 per cent overall, but again the increases were larger in the apartment and attached sectors, which were down 7.1 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively.

CREB’s report attributed that decline to a “more pronounced imbalance between supply and demand” in the apartment sector.

Board president Cliff Stevenson said the variance in performance between the various segments of the market makes it “very difficult to use citywide housing data for decision making.”

“It is very important for both buyers and sellers to pay close attention to the data in their particular area, segment, and price point,” Stevenson said in the report.

While the city’s benchmark housing prices declined, average prices were up 1.3 per cent, likely reflecting an increase in the numbers sold at the high end of the market — 57 homes sold for $1 million or more last month, compared with 42 in August 2015.

There has been some speculation that the foreign buyer tax imposed in Vancouver and sky-high prices both there and in Toronto might lead to more interest in Calgary’s real estate market, but realtor Jim Sparrow says that he and the five realtors he works with have seen no sign of an increase.

He said many prospective buyers are waiting until they have more confidence that the price of oil and the economy are recovering.

“They’re like most other buyers right now. They’re very hesitant to jump in the market when they don’t have more confidence,” said Sparrow.

– with files from Ian Bickis of the Canadian Press

Calgary Herald - Published on: September 1, 2016 | Last Updated: September 1, 2016 12:24 PM MDT


Gary Glover

Gary Glover

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