Calgary home sales July 2015 Photo: santoshsurneni/Flickr

Some 1,995 homes changed hands across Calgary’s Multiple Listing Service in July, representing a 14 per cent drop from July 2014 and the smallest year-over-year decline of 2015. Indeed, in the first six months of the year, sales were down between 22 per cent and 39 per cent on an annual basis.

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) says last month’s sales were consistent with the 10-year average and the housing market is “relatively balanced.”

House prices decline ever so slightly

Calgary’s benchmark home price for all property types ended the month at $455,400, down 0.15 per cent from July 2014.

“Calgary has recorded significant gains in home prices over the past several years, and despite the recent retraction, we have not seen all those previous gains eroded,” said CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie in a release.

Still, while a 0.15 per cent price decline is small, it does represent the first year-over-year decline since 2011.

CREB attributes the lack of price growth to the apartment sector, where prices fell by 1.61 per cent to $293,300 — nearly two per cent lower than the price at the beginning of the year — due to weak demand and growing supply.

For the remainder of the year, CREB says it expects benchmark prices to decline by less than one per cent on an annual basis.

“Further job losses are expected in the second half of the year,” Lurie stated in a release on July 31. “These employment changes, combined with overall weakness and slower than anticipated recovery of oil prices, are expected to keep housing demand relatively weak for the rest of 2015. However, with the initial shock of oil price declines having dissipated, the pullback in sales activity in the second half is not expected to be as dramatic as the first part of the year.”

For more on July’s housing figures, the full statistics package can be seen here.

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