Alberta continues to wince as real estate booms elsewhere

Posted by Justin Havre. on Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 at 5:14pm.


Home prices fall, unemployment rises and the statistics across the province still look fairly blah for a place that was once the leader in… virtually everything.

The Alberta Real Estate Board recently released information gathered from all board member and reported numbers in the MLS® system for June 2016.

There were just over 6,000 residential properties sold in June throughout the province, which are 9.2% fewer transactions from the same month last year.

The picture for the first half of 2016 relative to the first six months of 2015 show that real estate sales are below the average by about 10%.  We’re on the way down the slide with our hands up in the air and not for the thrill of it.  Elsewhere in Canada, markets are climbing the ladder with average sales from June 2015 to June 2016 up by 5.2%.

The story on home prices

Even with dark clouds swirling around our heads in Alberta, home prices seem to be holding water with a few leaks here and there.  The average residential price in June was $397,269 which is just 1.4% below the average reported in June 2015.   The first six months, year-to-year, shows a similar picture with average 2016 prices January to June coming in at $393,442, just 1.1% below the same six-month period the year prior.  Across Canada, the average price rose by 11.2% year-to-year at $503,301.  High market prices on the West coast and in Toronto are contributing to this very high average price.

Provincial breakdown

The various real estate boards around Alberta report a wide range of activity compared to June 2015 with a few encouraging gains but mostly losses.

  • Lethbridge is up by 2%
  • Calgary experienced a 0.2% gain
  • Edmonton dropped by 0.6%
  • Lloydminster fell by 2.1%
  • Grande Prairie experienced a 4.5% drop
  • Medicine Hat figures fell by 5.2%
  • Fort McMurray fared badly with a 19.9% drop but suffered the most between oil sands projects being cancelled and a slight matter of a forest fire.

In examining smaller markets and rural centres, Central Alberta fell 5.3%; Alberta West dropped 9.7% with the biggest storey being South Central Alberta down 32.3%.

Where Alberta stands on housing inventory

The number of housing units which came online with the MLS® service was 10,349 in June 2016, which is 4.4% fewer than the new listings entered in June 2015.   These new listings joined the existing inventory numbers for a grand provincial total of 29,432 homes for sale as of June 30, 2016 which is 11.5% more units on the market than totals for June 2015.  The number of months it would take to sell these homes was 4.9, a slight lead over June 2015 at 4 months.

Grand Totals

June sales totaled $2.4 billion in Alberta, a drop of 10.5% over the previous June.  Nationally, the dollar volume jumped 16.9% year-to-year.   In Calgary and Edmonton where the majority of sales took place, took a 7.2% and 10.7% drop respectively in total dollar volume year-to-year.

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