Photo: Michael Gil/Flickr
Following four months of relative stability, Calgary’s benchmark home price “eased as expected in September to $456,100, a 0.26 per cent decline compared with last year,” according to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).
The decline in home sales, however, was more stark. Some 1,448 homes changed hands across the Multiple Listings Service last month, down 32.4 per cent from September 2014 and well below typical activity levels for this time of year. Year-to-date Calgary sales remained below both the five- and 10-year averages by a respective 10 and 26 per cent.
“Rising unemployment and persistent weakness in the local economy is impacting housing demand,” CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said in a release. “However, unlike earlier this year when consumers were reacting to uncertainty, recent activity reflects current economic conditions.”
And although inventory levels remained elevated compared to activity seen in the past three years, CREB president Corinne Lyall notes that they are still well below highs recorded during the previous economic downturn in 2008 and 2009.
“There is no question that we have seen a shift in our local housing market conditions, but it needs to be put in perspective,” Lyall said in a statement. “Aggregate prices have eased by one per cent from the beginning of the year, a moderate correction when compared against the aggressive gains last year that averaged more than nine per cent.”