Calgary housing market 2015 Photo: Michael Gil/Flickr

Home sales in Calgary dropped 18 per cent year-over-year in December, capping off a year of downward momentum for a market that was red-hot in 2014.

According to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), 878 homes changed hands across the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) last month — well below the five- and 10-year December averages.

CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie says last month followed a pattern established early on in 2015, which was characterized by slower housing demand.

“Economic uncertainty, followed by weak economic conditions and job losses, contributed to slowing housing demand throughout the year,” Lurie said in a statement. “That said, while aggregate prices trended down in 2015, it was not to the same extent as some had speculated. Supply levels were low moving into this cycle and thus provided some cushion to absorb the inventory gains.”

Overall, Calgary home sales in 2015 were down 26 per cent compared to the sales total in 2014 (18,835 transactions in 2015 compared to 25,543 in 2014). Indeed, not one month in 2015 out-performed its 2014 counterpart in terms of sales.

Broken down by property type, single-family home sales fell 24 per cent on the year while the condo and townhome sectors experienced drops of 33 and 28 per cent, respectively.

Prices

While benchmark prices for both the single-family home and townhome sectors last month was 1.91 and 1.29 per cent lower than levels recorded in December 2014, on an annual average basis, they remained 1.35 and 1.84 per cent above 2014 numbers. However, the benchmark price of a Calgary condo in 2015 was 0.82 per cent lower than it was in 2014. The composite benchmark price for all housing types was 1.11 per cent higher in 2015 compared to the previous year.

“Aggregate statistics often do not provide the full story as activity varies by product type, price ranges and location,” CREB president Corinne Lyall said in a statement. “While prices have trended down this year citywide, there are some areas of the city where prices for detached homes have improved compared to the start of the year.”

For more, CREB’s complete 2015 statistics package can be downloaded here (PDF).

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