Calgary’s housing market recovery hampered by unemployment

Home sales in Calgary were down 7% year-over-year in August and were 14% below the long-term trends.

There were 1,490 homes sold citywide while benchmark prices slipped back 0.8% from July and were 2.4% below August 2017 levels.

Calgary Real Estate Board’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie says that tighter mortgage lending conditions, competition from the new home sector, and slow recovery from the energy sector, are all contributing factors.

She added that the region’s persistently high unemployment (7.9%) and recent job losses were also hampering recovery for the Calgary housing market.

Although most areas of the market have seen downward price trends year-to-date, they have held relatively stable compared to last year in the City Centre and West districts.

“Both buyers and sellers need to be realistic about their objectives. Buyers need to be aware that price changes differ depending on what and where you are buying. The decline in sales does not mean price declines across the board,” said CREB® president Tom Westcott.

Stats by housing type
Detached – Lower sales year-to-date with inventory rising to just below 5 months of supply. Detached benchmark prices totaled $497,000 in August. This is a 0.74% decline over last month and 2.6% below the previous year.

Apartment – Year-to-date sales down 7% year-over-year. Sales in both the North East and North West districts remained slightly higher than levels recorded last year. Inventory eased but remains oversupplied.

Attached – Year-to-date sales improved in some areas but down overall compared to the same period of 2017. Oversupply has led to prices easing 1.5% year-to-date compared to the same period of 2017. North East prices down 7% compared to relative stability in the City Centre.

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