No question that the decline in oil prices over the last several months have hurt Alberta’s economy, but the encouraging news is that house prices are holding firm. The sky hasn’t fallen. Buyers are still buying and sellers are still selling. It’s not all sunshine and roses, but it’s not all gloom either. Sales in Calgary were down 25 per cent in May compared to last year, however prices have held relatively steady. Within the city of Calgary, housing prices totaled $454,100 in May, a 0.55 per cent increase over April and an almost 1 per cent increase compared to last year.
At the beginning of 2015 there was a higher number of homes for sale relative to the number of buyers in the city, causing more than a five month supply of inventory. Understandably, buyers at the beginning of the year were nervous and uncertain about the future of Calgary’s real estate market. Over the spring market, however the number of new listings coming on the market has slowed down. “While some challenges continue to exist for sellers, depending on the property type, price and location, the decline in the months supply points towards more stability for both buyers and sellers” Corrine Lyall, CREB® President.
Don Campbell, senior analyst with Real Estate Investment Network Canada, believes that the market is exactly where it was expected to be in May – 10 months after the initial drop in oil prices – as the economy begins recovering and balancing itself out.
In May, the number of listings in the Calgary market fell to 2.43 months of inventory, a significant drop from the 5 months of inventory in January. Total inventory in the city of Calgary for May was 5,342 units, 16 per cent higher than the same month in 2014, but 3 per cent lower than the average levels over the past 10 years.
The average days on market for May of this year was 41, compared with 27 for the same month last year. With increased inventory, patient buyers are waiting for just the right property before purchasing. The right properties are definitely out there. The majority of home sales in May occurred in the detached home sector below $500,000. “This segment of the detached market continues to have a good amount of consumer activity, as many have taken advantage of the improved selection compared to last year,” said Lyall.
The benchmark price for detached homes in May was $512,800, a 0.89 per cent increase from last year’s price of $508,300. Attached home prices also increased slightly. The benchmark price for an attached home in May was $354,000 compared to $347,800 in the same month last year. Apartments in Calgary saw the biggest decline in the benchmark price with a 0.2 per cent drop. The benchmark price for apartments in May of last year was $295,400 compared to $294,800 in May of this year.
The Calgary market isn’t the doom and gloom some expected it to be. It’s still a good to time buy and sell real estate in the city. Buyers can afford to be picky and sellers need to price and present their property right. To find out more about the buying or selling process or if you have any questions about Calgary’s real estate market, contact the Marnie Campbell Realty Group today.