Good time to buy in Calgary real estate market

Buyer’s conditions continued to dominate Calgary’s resale housing market in October.

Statistics released by the Calgary Real Estate Board for the month indicated slower demand, an elevated level of supply and declining prices. October saw the fifth consecutive month that citywide benchmark prices have fallen.

Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB’s chief economist, said she doesn’t expect much to change for the rest of the year.

“There hasn’t been any real change in the economic climate. We still have in Calgary a fairly high unemployment rate and the demand just hasn’t been that strong and we still have too much supply in the market. So it’s going to take some time to work all of that out,” she said.

“We need to see a couple of things happen. We’ve seen improvement in in-migration which is a good thing but we also need to see some of those job numbers start to come back. We need to see some improvements in employment or we need to start to see some of those listings come off. We’ve seen a bit of that over the last couple of months but it’s not enough yet to really account for this lower demand quite yet. Supply at some point should adjust to the new norm of demand. But that takes a lot longer.”

According to CREB’s monthly stats for October:

  • MLS sales of 1,322 were down 9.88 per cent from a year ago;
  • Sales volume of $619.53 million fell by 11.11 per cent;
  • New listings of 2,440 for the month were off by 6.44 per cent;
  • The inventory of homes for sale at the end of the month rose by 13.35 per cent to 7,345;
  • The months of supply that it would take to sell all the listed properties rose by 25.78 per cent to 5.56 months;
  • The average days on the market to sell a home was up by 20.69 per cent to 60 days;
  • The sales to new listings ratio decreased by 2.07 per cent to 54.18 per cent;
  • The sales to list price ratio was down 0.74 per cent to 96.37 per cent;
  • The benchmark price – which indicates typical properties in the market – dropped by 2.94 per cent to $426,300;
  • The median price fell by 1.14 per cent to $410,250; and
  • The average sale price declined by 1.36 per cent to $468,634.

The months of supply remains on the high end, explained Lurie. Typically the range is around the three months to four months of supply for October.

“So we’re definitely higher than we traditionally see at this time of year,” added Lurie.

“When prices are falling that’s usually an indication that you’re oversupplied in your market and that’s what we’ve been seeing. Prices have been generally trending down for the past five months.”

The price reduction can cause the inventory to start to come off because listings start to ease or some of the sales activity could start to pick up, she said.

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