After an unexpected surge in October, Calgary home sales returned to previous levels in November. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board’s (CREB) latest report, 1,227 homes were sold in the city last month — that’s down 3 per cent year-over-year and 17 per cent below long-term averages.
CREB Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie was unsurprised that home sales were lower in November than they were in October.
“November was the first full month with CMHC’s new lending rules in effect,” she explains in a press release accompanying the new data. “As suspected, the gains in last month’s sales were temporary. Stringent conditions for borrowers are converging with the current economic climate and weighing on demand.”
Year-over-year, detached and attached sales fell 2.63 per cent and 5.2 per cent, respectively, while apartment sales were flat. On a year-to-date basis, the numbers are much different — apartment sales are down 16.06 per cent compared to last year, with attached sales down 6.36 per cent and detached sales only 3.13 per cent below 2015 levels.
In its release, CREB notes that detached sales have seen “modest improvements in recent months in the high end of the market.” Those improvements are “likely a byproduct of larger price adjustments.” On the flip side, the apartment sector has been plagued by high supply this year — currently seven months of supply are available.
Calgary home prices fell along with sales in November. CREB’s data shows that the city-wide benchmark home price came in at just $436,200 last month, down 0.6 per cent from the previous month and down 4.1 per cent from November 2015.
As with sales, the detached sector fared better than the attached and apartment sectors. Respectively, those sectors saw year-over-year benchmark price declines of 3.36 per cent, 4.43 per cent and 6.8 per cent. Even so, not all has been rosy in the detached sector — November saw the benchmark detached price drop below $500,000 for the first time since early 2014.
Summing up the situation, CREB President Cliff Stevenson explained, “[t]hese monthly figures aren’t a big surprise given the dynamics of our market right now. We’ve seen pockets of sales activity in certain areas, but also lots of months where the expectations between buyers and sellers just aren’t matching up. November was one of those months.”