Calgary’s economy remains soft overall, a fact that was reflected in the city’s housing market last month — home sales and prices fell again in September, declining 2.06 per cent and 4.11 per cent year-over-year, respectively.
But according to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), honing in on the detached sector provides some positivity. In its latest report, released October 3rd, it emphasizes that the detached sector has “the greatest influence on the overall market,” and notes that prices there are showing signs of stability. In September, the benchmark price for a detached home in Calgary was $503,400, extremely close to the August benchmark price of $503,200.
In a press release accompanying the new data, CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie said some market watchers may have been surprised to see balance in the detached sector.
“The decline in demand has caused many to anticipate steeper price declines for detached homes,” she noted, adding, “[t]hat hasn’t happened in large part because detached supply
levels haven’t climbed as sharply as many expected. There was a limited amount of supply in the overall market when this cycle began, and while levels did rise and remain somewhat elevated, they were well below previous highs.”
A quick look at Calgary’s detached sector inventory confirms that supply has indeed been limited lately — last month inventory was down 6.8 per cent from September 2015. It was pushed down in part by a 6.11 per cent fall in new detached listings over the same period.
Sales and prices in the attached and apartment sectors were more of a mixed bag last month. Calgary apartment sales were up 22.78 per cent year-over-year, with the benchmark apartment price clocking in at $274,700, a 6.75 per cent rise from a year ago. Attached sales recorded a similar rise of 19 per cent from last September, while the benchmark attached price fell 4.79 per cent to reach $331,600 over the same period.
Even so, for CREB President Cliff Stevenson, the current situation is encouraging. Last month, he urged Calgary home buyers and sellers alike not to make decisions based on city-wide housing data, commenting, “[i]t is very important for [people] to pay close attention to the data in their particular area, segment, and price point.”
Now, he believes that’s starting to happen. “Consumers are really starting to come to terms with the current environment,” he said. “Most sellers have adjusted their expectations at the same time that many buyers are realizing the price of a home is influenced by factors like location, supply in specific price ranges and condition of the property.”