A senior economist from BMO Capital Markets believes Canada’s top housing market has caught a serious chill this month, as sales are down 37% from a year ago.
Figures for Calgary’s housing market show that it faltered by 7.5% in December, despite soaring in earlier months alongside Toronto and Vancouver. Their highs drove national prices to historic levels and made industry watchers fear a sharp, destabilising correction.
“After leading most cities in sales and price gains last year, Calgary’s high-flying housing market has caught a serious chill,” Sal Guatieri said in a report.
Experts attribute Calgary’s housing market drop to plunging oil prices since the year started, as the city is considered Canada’s oil region.
BMO said data from the Calgary Real Estate Board indicated active listings in Calgary went up by 64% last month. However, pending sales slipped by 53%.
Guatieri said the 1.5% drop likely signals the start of a correction, but added that data from the first two weeks of the year is not enough to conclude.
“You don’t want to base your analysis on two weeks of data, especially in home sales numbers, which are subject to seasonal variations,” he said.
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