Photo: Brendan Bell/Flickr
Calgary home sales were off to a slow start in the first quarter of 2018, following the introduction of stricter mortgage regulations Canada-wide at the beginning of the year.
A total of 3,423 units changed hands in the first quarter, roughly an 18 per cent drop from last year’s levels and 24 per cent below long-term averages, according to the latest data from the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), published on Monday.
The association says the decline in quarterly sales is not a surprise, after the market experienced stronger growth in sales at the end of 2017, following the announcement of the new mortgage regulations.
“Economic conditions are slowly improving, but it has not been enough to outpace the current impact of higher lending rates and more stringent conditions,” says CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie, in a statement.
With a slowdown in sales, detached and condo inventory increased this quarter and prices experienced a small drop on a quarterly basis. However, prices remained relatively stable compared to last year, which CREB attributes to modest gains in the detached sector offsetting declines in the apartment sector.
Last month, the citywide benchmark price of a home was $435,600 — a less than one per cent increase from a year ago.
“We are entering the most active quarters in the housing market with more inventory, which could create some price fluctuations,” says Lurie.
“However, the improving economy is expected to prevent overall prices from slipping by significant amounts,” she adds.
Here are 8 more key facts that illustrate Calgary’s slow path towards a housing recovery during the first quarter of 2018.