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The struggle has been real for Alberta’s biggest housing markets — but the province’s embattled urban centres are showing some signs of improvement, local real estate boards report this month.

Of all of Canada’s major housing markets, Edmonton and Calgary have remained well short of peak home price levels for the longest period of time.

Edmonton prices peaked in September 2007, while the Calgary market’s last high was achieved in October 2014, according to the Teranet–National Bank House Price Index.

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Both markets saw more homebuyers step off the sidelines of late, possibly taking advantage of cheaper prices that have come with years of a depressed post-oil-boom economy.

In Calgary, the local real estate board’s top economist sees the potential for recovery on the horizon.

“We are starting to see reductions in supply across the resale, rental and new-home markets,” says Ann–Marie Lurie, chief economist for the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), in a statement.

Calgary detached home sales increased by 3.62 percent last month on a year-over-year basis, while condo apartment sales surged 14.57 percent.

“This adjustment in supply to the lower levels of demand will support more balanced conditions. It is starting to support more stability in prices. If this continues, the housing market should be better positioned for recovery as we move into 2020,” Lurie adds.

In July, the average detached home price in Calgary was $525,314, representing a decline of 6.31 percent from 12 months prior. But condo apartment prices climbed 1.18 percent year-over-year to an average of $284,184.

Meanwhile in Edmonton, single-family home sales soared 17.79 percent annually, though condo transactions declined 1.7 percent over the same period, according to the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

The association also separately reports duplex sales and found prices for this multi-family housing type climbed 4.42 percent compared to July 2018.

“Edmonton real estate unit sales in July are up year over year,” says Michael Brodick, Realtors Association of Edmonton chair, in a statement.

“Prices remain relatively flat; however, the average price of condominiums is down over 10% year over year,” he notes.

Like Calgary, Edmonton’s market is seeing tighter supply conditions. The 3,011 new listings that appeared on the market last month represent a five-year low, the Edmonton Journal reports.

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